When timing is everything: role of cell cycle regulation in asymmetric division

Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2005 Jun;16(3):423-37. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2005.02.005.


Asymmetric division is a fundamental mechanism of generating cell diversity during development. One of its hallmarks is asymmetric localization during mitosis of proteins that specify daughter cell fate. Studies in Drosophila show that subcellular localization of many proteins required for asymmetric division of neuronal progenitors correlates with progression through mitosis. Yet, how cell cycle and asymmetric division machineries cooperate remains unclear. Recent data show that (1) key cell cycle regulators are required for asymmetric localization of cell fate determinants and for cell fate determination and (2) molecules that mediate asymmetric division can also act to modulate proliferation potential of progenitor cells.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aurora Kinases
  • CDC2 Protein Kinase / physiology
  • Cell Cycle / physiology*
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / physiology*
  • Cell Lineage
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Drosophila
  • Drosophila Proteins / physiology*
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / physiology
  • Signal Transduction
  • Stem Cells / physiology
  • Time Factors


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Aurora Kinases
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • CDC2 Protein Kinase