Developmental Control of Cell Cycle Regulators: A Fly's Perspective

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  06 Dec 1996:
Vol. 274, Issue 5293, pp. 1646-1652
DOI: 10.1126/science.274.5293.1646


During early development in many species, maternally supplied gene products permit the cell cycle to run at maximum velocity, subdividing the fertilized egg into smaller and smaller cells. As development proceeds, zygotic controls are activated that first limit divisions to defined spatial and temporal domains, coordinating them with morphogenesis, and then halt proliferation altogether, to allow cell differentiation. Analysis of the regulation of cyclin-dependent kinases (Cdks) in Drosophila has provided insights into how this embryonic program of cell proliferation is controlled at the molecular level and how it is linked to developmental cues. Recent studies have also begun to reveal how cell proliferation is controlled during the second phase of Drosophila development, which occurs in imaginal tissues. In contrast to their embryonic progenitors, imaginal cells proliferate with a cycle that requires cell growth and is linked to patterning processes controlled by secreted cell signaling molecules. The functions of these signaling molecules appear to be nearly as conserved between vertebrates and invertebrates as the cell cycle control apparatus itself, suggesting that the mechanisms that coordinate growth, patterning, and cell proliferation in developing tissues have ancient origins.

Stay Connected to Science