A beginner's guide to genetics: flow of genetic information
In the second article of our series on genetics, Adrián J Gonzáles and colleagues consider metosis and meiosis - the two main types of cell division
- By: Adrián J González, Luis R Macias, Regina Gómez-Palacio, Osvaldo M Mutchinick
Life is full of cycles, but no one would exist without the cell cycle. The cell cycle is controlled by genetic cues that lead to the growth, functioning, death, and division of cells, which is how cells propagate.
Cell division can happen in two main ways - mitosis or somatic cell division and meiosis restricted to the germ cell progeny. In a successful somatic cell cycle the entire genetic material is duplicated once and is distributed evenly in two daughter cells during mitosis. This begins during part of the cell cycle called the interphase, which includes different stages: G1, S, and G2. Once cells stop dividing they enter a different part of interphase called G0.
Cell cycle progression is regulated by cyclins. These are proteins that appear at specific steps or checkpoints in the cell cycle and bind to specific cyclin dependent kinases that phosphorylate certain target proteins. These proteins