Mitotic-exit control as an evolved complex system

Cell. 2005 May 6;121(3):325-33. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2005.04.006.


The exit from mitosis is the last critical decision during a cell-division cycle. A complex regulatory system has evolved to evaluate the success of mitotic events and control this decision. Whereas outstanding genetic work in yeast has led to rapid discovery of a large number of interacting genes involved in the control of mitotic exit, it has also become increasingly difficult to comprehend the logic and mechanistic features embedded in the complex molecular network. Our view is that this difficulty stems in part from the attempt to explain mitotic-exit control using concepts from traditional top-down engineering design, and that exciting new results from evolutionary engineering design applied to networks and electronic circuits may lend better insights. We focus on four particularly intriguing features of the mitotic-exit control system and attempt to examine these features from the perspective of evolutionary design and complex system engineering.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biological Evolution*
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / physiology*
  • Mitosis / physiology*
  • Models, Biological
  • Monomeric GTP-Binding Proteins / physiology
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases / physiology
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / physiology
  • Saccharomycetales / physiology
  • Spindle Apparatus / physiology


  • CDC14 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • TEM1 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases
  • Monomeric GTP-Binding Proteins