Monday, Jan 4, 2021
Current Opinion in Cell Biology

Mechanisms of Signalling-Memory Governing Progression Through the Eukaryotic Cell Cycle

Bela Novak, John J. Tyson

As cells pass through each replication-division cycle, they must be able to postpone further progression if they detect any threats to genome integrity, such as DNA damage or misaligned chromosomes. Once a 'decision' is made to proceed, the cell unequivocally enters into a qualitatively different biochemical state, which makes the transitions from one cell cycle phase to the next switch-like and irreversible. Each transition is governed by a unique signalling network; nonetheless, they share a common characteristic of bistable behaviour, a hallmark of molecular memory devices. Comparing the cell cycle signalling mechanisms acting at the restriction point, G1/S, G2/M and meta-to-anaphase transitions, we deduce a generic network motif of coupled positive and negative feedback loops underlying each transition.