In multicellular organisms, cell proliferation must be tightly coordinated with other developmental processes to form functional tissues and organs. Despite significant advances in our understanding of how the cell cycle is controlled by conserved cell‐cycle regulators (CCRs), how the cell cycle is coordinated with cell differentiation in metazoan organisms and how CCRs contribute to this process remain poorly understood. Here, we review the emerging roles of metazoan CCRs as intracellular proliferation‐differentiation coordinators in multicellular organisms. We illustrate how major CCRs regulate cellular events that are required for cell fate acquisition and subsequent differentiation. To this end, CCRs employ diverse mechanisms, some of which are separable from those underpinning the conventional cell‐cycle‐regulatory functions of CCRs. By controlling cell‐type‐specific specification/differentiation processes alongside the progression of the cell cycle, CCRs enable spatiotemporal coupling between differentiation and cell proliferation in various developmental contexts in vivo. We discuss the significance and implications of this underappreciated role of metazoan CCRs for development, disease and evolution.
Y. Kimata, Leturcq, M., and Dr. Rajaguru Aradhya, “Emerging roles of metazoan cell cycle regulators as coordinators of the cell cycle and differentiation”, FEBS Letters, vol. 594, 2020.