Gene copy number and cell cycle arrest

Ghosh, Bhaswar ; Bose, Indrani (2005) Gene copy number and cell cycle arrest Physical Biology, 3 (1). pp. 29-36. ISSN 1478-3967

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The cell cycle is an orderly sequence of events which ultimately lead to the division of a single cell into two daughter cells. In the case of DNA damage by radiation or chemicals, the damage checkpoints in the G1 and G2 phases of the cell cycle are activated. This results in an arrest of the cell cycle so that the DNA damage can be repaired. Once this is done, the cell continues with its usual cycle of activity. We study a mathematical model of the DNA damage checkpoint in the G2 phase which arrests the transition from the G2 to the M (mitotic) phase of the cell cycle. The tumor suppressor protein p53 plays a key role in activating the pathways leading to cell cycle arrest in mammalian systems. If the DNA damage is severe, the p53 proteins activate other pathways which bring about apoptosis, i.e., programmed cell death. Loss of the p53 gene results in the proliferation of cells containing damaged DNA, i.e., in the growth of tumors which may ultimately become cancerous. There is some recent experimental evidence which suggests that the mutation of a single copy of the p53 gene (in the normal cell each gene has two identical copies) is sufficient to trigger the formation of tumors. We study the effect of reducing the gene copy number of the p53 and two other genes on cell cycle arrest and obtain results consistent with experimental observations.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to Institute of Physics Publishing.
ID Code:5971
Deposited On:19 Oct 2010 10:02
Last Modified:16 May 2016 16:24

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