Friday, July 6, 2012

Choosing negative control of cell division: one of the major cause of problems in animal system

Some weeks back when we were discussing about cell division and cancer we were comparing plant vs animal cell cycle and the interesting question came is “Why animals and plants chose different mode of controlling their cell division ?”.  I thought of sharing this with you in this post.
Plants normally do not die (premature death) out of inherent problems (defects in their own genes controlling cell cycle). Mostly their premature death is due to pathogens or stress which are external. In contrast, in animals including human one of the major cause of premature death is the cancer which is due to the defects in cell division control genes.  If we take an aerial view of this problem one thing is clear that plant cells are
controlled positively, for examples if a differentiated cell needs to divide then hormones are needed for this (positive control). But it animals, if a differentiated cell has to divide, the control (for example tumor suppressor gene) has to be removed. To put it simply, plant cells (differentiated) are not capable of division until they are provided with hormones while animal cells (differentiated cells) are always capable of division and are not allowed to divide due to genes suppressing their division and these cells start dividing once the suppression is removed.  It would be worth investigating when this dichotomy in control of cell divisions emerged and why animals would have chosen this type of control unlike plants.  You are welcome to add your thoughts on this topic.

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