Role of cell shape in growth control

Nature. 1978 Jun 1;273(5661):345-9. doi: 10.1038/273345a0.


Tissue culture plastic adhesivity was precisely varied by applying different concentrations of poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate). The extent of cell spreading was thus accurately controlled so that cells cultured on these substrata could be held at any one of a graded series of quantitated cell shapes. Cell shape was found to be tightly coupled to DNA synthesis and growth in nontransformed cells. These findings suggest a mechanism that is important in growth control of mammalian cells, and provide a more fundamental interpretation of such phenomena as density dependent inhibition of cell growth and anchorage dependence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Adhesion*
  • Cell Cycle
  • Cell Division*
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / pathology
  • Cells, Cultured / cytology*
  • Cells, Cultured / metabolism
  • Contact Inhibition
  • Culture Media
  • DNA / biosynthesis*
  • Growth Substances / blood
  • Polyhydroxyethyl Methacrylate


  • Culture Media
  • Growth Substances
  • Polyhydroxyethyl Methacrylate
  • DNA