Asymmetric cell division: recent developments and their implications for tumour biology

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2010 Dec;11(12):849-60. doi: 10.1038/nrm3010.


The ability of cells to divide asymmetrically is essential for generating diverse cell types during development. The past 10 years have seen tremendous progress in our understanding of this important biological process. We have learned that localized phosphorylation events are responsible for the asymmetric segregation of cell fate determinants in mitosis and that centrosomes and microtubules play important parts in this process. The relevance of asymmetric cell division for stem cell biology has added a new dimension to the field, and exciting connections between asymmetric cell division and tumorigenesis have begun to emerge.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Biology / trends*
  • Cell Division / physiology*
  • Cell Polarity / physiology
  • Cell Size
  • Centrosome / physiology
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Vertebrates / physiology