Quantitative analysis of cell cycle phase durations and PC12 differentiation using fluorescent biosensors

Cell Cycle. 2009 Apr 1;8(7):1044-52. doi: 10.4161/cc.8.7.8042. Epub 2009 Apr 2.


Cell cycle analysis typically relies on fixed time-point measurements of cells in particular phases of the cell cycle. The cell cycle, however, is a dynamic process whose subtle shifts are lost by fixed time-point methods. Live-cell fluorescent biosensors and time-lapse microscopy allows the collection of temporal information about real time cell cycle progression and arrest. Using two genetically-encoded biosensors, we measured the precision of the G(1), S, G(2) and M cell cycle phase durations in different cell types and identified a bimodal G(1) phase duration in a fibroblast cell line that is not present in the other cell types. Using a cell line model for neuronal differentiation, we demonstrated that NGF-induced neurite extension occurs independently of NGF-induced cell cycle G(1) phase arrest. Thus, we have begun to use cell cycle fluorescent biosensors to examine the proliferation of cell populations at the resolution of individual cells and neuronal differentiation as a dynamic process of parallel cell cycle arrest and neurite outgrowth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biosensing Techniques / methods*
  • Cell Cycle / physiology*
  • Cell Division / physiology*
  • Fibroblasts / cytology
  • Fibroblasts / physiology
  • Fluorescence
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Nerve Growth Factor / metabolism
  • Neurites / physiology*
  • Neurogenesis / physiology*
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / physiology
  • PC12 Cells
  • Rats


  • Nerve Growth Factor