We study how the cell cycle is regulated to speed up, slow down or stop cell proliferation at the right places and times during development.
Developmental control of cell cycle exitCells in multicellular organisms frequently enter long-term non-mitotic or quiescent states. Quiescent states may be reversible, as in the case of resting stem cells, but may also be permanent, as is the case for many terminally differentiated cells such as mature neurons, differentiated epithelia or muscle. How are these quiescent states controlled and why are some reversible while others are not? Our studies use genetic tools in Drosophila and mammalian cells to address these questions by investigating how terminal differentiation signals impinge on the cell cycle machinery to induce and maintain a stable post-mitotic state.
Photo: Differentiated post-mitotic cells in the fly eye (left) and wing (right) can be induced to re-enter the cell cycle and undergo mitoses (red) by the expression of a few defined cell cycle factors (expressing cells labeled with GFP).