In multicellular organisms one can find examples where a growing tissue divides up until some final fixed cell number. Asymmetric division plays a prevalent feature in tissue differentiation in these organisms, where the daughters of each asymmetric division inherit unequal amounts of a fate determining molecule and as a result follow different developmental fates. In some tissues the accumulation or decrease of cell cycle regulators acts as an intrinsic timing mechanism governing proliferation. Here we present a minimal model based on asymmetric division and dilution of a cell-cycle regulator that can generate any final population size that might be needed. We show that within the model there are a variety of growth mechanisms from linear to non-linear that can lead to the same final cell count. Interestingly, when we include noise at division we find that there are special final cell population sizes that can be generated with high confidence that are flanked by population sizes that are less robust to division noise. When we include further perturbations in the division process we find that these special populations can remain relatively stable and in some cases even improve in their fidelity.
Hamidi M, Emberly E (2013) A Model for Cell Population Size Control Using Asymmetric Division. PLoS ONE 8(9): e74324. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0074324
A Model for Cell Population Size Control Using Asymmetric Division
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