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.

References

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

One Comment

  1. Lacey made a children’s storybook about cell division that is not regulated. She goes on to explain that all of the cells in our body go through a process of cell division! After the process of mitosis, one of the two types of cell division, is completed, the two cells go off and sit together in interphase where they can begin replicating DNA. When cells begin to divide in an out-of-control manner, mistakes can occur. These mistakes are called tumors and they can either be identified as benign or malignant. In order for the cell division to stay organized, you need two specific types of proteins: Cyclins and Cyclin-Dependent Kinases (CDK). They are responsible for deciding whether or not a cell should move forward with it’s process, but sometimes the mutated cells slip through the cracks. This causes more mutated cells to be created. After a while, these “bad” cells group together between normal and healthy cells. These groups are then identified as tumors that can often be seen when diagnosing cancer. B-Cell Lymphoma and follicular lymphoma, types of cancer, happen when too many mutated lymphocytes are made. These are a type of white blood cell, but not the good kind. These ones do not fight to keep the immune system up and running like healthy white blood cells do. In the end, regulation of cells during the process of cell division is extremely important to have a proper functioning body.

    Ellie Martinson

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *