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A temperature-compensated ultradian clock explains temperature-dependent quantal cell cycle times

Lloyd, D. and Kippert, F. 1987. A temperature-compensated ultradian clock explains temperature-dependent quantal cell cycle times. Symposia of the Society for Experimental Biology 41 , pp. 135-155.

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The effects of sublethal heat pulses on cell division have provided insights into possible molecular mechanisms. Thus Zeuthen's findings of 'set-backs' up to a transition point provides the basis for the idea that the continuous accumulation of a compound needed for cell division spans a major portion of the cell cycle. The accumulating substance is a 'division protein' which forms part of a structure which is unstable until completely assembled at the transition point. Experiments showing phase resetting of mammalian cells by temperature perturbation indicate limit-cycle oscillator control of the cell cycle with a phase-response curve with a repeat interval equal to the period of the clock. As well as providing a method for establishing synchronized cultures these observations have found application in the selective effects of hyperthermia as an antitumour agent. Circadian rhythms display several unique features distinguishing them from other periodic processes. Only recently has it been recognized that some of these characteristics may be properties of ultradian rhythms as well. The probably most striking feature of circadian timekeeping, i.e. independence of ambient temperature, was found for ultradian rhythmicity even at the level of the unicellular organization. Synchronous cultures of some lower eukaryotes were prepared by centrifugal size selection methods. Experiments with asynchronous control cultures substantiated the view that the conditions employed were such as to minimize any perturbative effects: most importantly the organisms were never removed from their culture medium. Whereas the control cultures showed smoothly increasing respiration rates, total RNA, total protein, enzyme activities and enzyme protein (e.g. for cytochrome aa3, ATPase, catalase), in synchronous cultures all these parameters showed oscillatory behaviour. Different periods were observed in different organisms: thus in Acanthamoeba castellanii the period was about 70 min, in Tetrahymena pyriformis strain ST it was about 50 min, in T. pyriformis AII it was 30 min, and in Candida utilis it was about 30 min (all measurements at 30 degrees C). In A. castellanii the periods of both the oscillations in rate of respiration and the total cell protein were hardly affected by the temperature of growth over the range 20 to 30 degrees C. The oscillations show no damping during experiments lasting 12 h: these properties suggest that we are observing temperature-compensated endogenous rhythms which presumably serve a timekeeping function in cells undergoing growth and division.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
ISSN: 0081-1386
Last Modified: 05 Mar 2020 13:45

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