Minimal Cell Cycle


Driving the cell cycle with a minimal CDK control network


Damien Coudreuse Paul Nurse


Published in: Nature
Volume: 468, Issue: 7327, Pages: 1074-1079
Published: 12//2010
DOI: 10.1038/nature09543

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Our Discussion:

This is a great example of a paper where synthetic biology meets systems biology. The authors developed a minimal cell cycle regulatory network by engineering a synthetic CDK. To simplify the cell cycle control machinery, a cassette expressing a fusion of cdc13 and cdc2under the control of the cdc13 regulatory elements was integrated into the genome. They show that oscillation of a single monomolecular CDK module in the absence of many of the known regulatory inputs and feedbacks is sufficient to sequentially trigger the major cell cycle events. They also demonstrate further that the minimal cycle can be built on a circuit of two CDK activity thresholds defining independent states with no inherent directionality, upon which sequence and timing are imposed by a single CDK oscillator.


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