The purpose of this children’s storybook is to show the reader a basic explanation for what happens when cell division is not regulated. All the cells in our body go through a form of life cycle, or cell division. After mitosis, the two newly divided cells sit in interphase, “which is a place for resting and a checkpoint for complete genetic function before the cells can start replicating the DNA. This DNA replication occurs in the S phase of interphase and plays a crucial role in creating sister chromatids that can then separate later in the cycle. (Mercadante & Kasi, 2020)
When cells divide and proliferate uncontrollably, just as anything when rushed, leaves room for error. In the cell’s case, that can lead to tumors both benign and malignant. There are two types of proteins responsible for regulating the cell cycle, Cyclins and Cyclin-Dependent kinases (CDK’s). Cyclins are created at specific times in the cell cycle whereas CDKs are created throughout the entire cell cycle and are used to introduce protein molecules important for healthy cell growth. These proteins help at the checkpoint pathways during the cell’s cycle. “These checkpoint pathways are able to recognize and transduce signals about the adequacy of initiating or continuing proliferation for a cell at a particular time, under a particular set of external and internal conditions.” (Lopez-Saez, Torre, Pinchera, Gimenez-Martin. 1998.)
As mutations occur in cells and mistakes are passed over the mutated cell will continue to skip checkpoints in the cell cycle, leading to more and more daughter cells being created with mutation. As those mutated cells continue to divide at unknown rates, the cells start to “glob“ together creating masses between normal healthy cells. Thus, creating the tumors or masses described as seen during cancer diagnosis. Unlike healthy cells in the life cycle, mutated cells and their DNA replication allows the cell to live for longer periods and instead of dying, the cell continues to divide.
As touched on in the storybook, cancer cells like B-Cell Lymphoma and follicular lymphoma occur when the body produces too many abnormal lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell. White blood cells are our bodies immune system fighters. A cancer close to my heart and interest, “Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a type of cancer that begins in your lymphatic system, which is part of the body’s germ-fighting immune system. In non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, white blood cells called lymphocytes grow abnormally and can form growths (tumors) throughout the body.” (MayoClinic, 2021)
In Conclusion the importance of regulation and meticulous checkpoints during cell division is pertinent to a healthy produced cell resulting in a proper functioning body. Just like the daughter cells in the story, slow and steady wins the prize.
Mercadante & Kasi, (2020, 13 October). Genetics, Cancel Cell Cycle Phases. StatPearls Publishing, 2021.
MayoClinic (2021, 4 May). Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. MayoClinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/non-hodgkins-lymphoma/symptoms-causes/syc-20375680
Lopez-Saez, Torre, Pinchera,Gimenez-Martin. (1998) Cell Proliferation and Cancer. DOI: 10.14670/HH-13.1197