Mechanisms of intracellular scaling.

Department of Molecular Biology, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming 82071
Annual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology (Impact Factor: 20.24). 07/2012; 28:113-35. DOI: 10.1146/annurev-cellbio-092910-154158
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Cell size varies widely among different organisms as well as within the same organism in different tissue types and during development, which places variable metabolic and functional demands on organelles and internal structures. A fundamental question is how essential subcellular components scale to accommodate cell size differences. Nuclear transport has emerged as a conserved means of scaling nuclear size. A meiotic spindle scaling factor has been identified as the microtubule-severing protein katanin, which is differentially regulated by phosphorylation in two different-sized frog species. Anaphase mechanisms and levels of chromatin compaction both act to coordinate cell size with spindle and chromosome dimensions to ensure accurate genome distribution during cell division. Scaling relationships and mechanisms for many membrane-bound compartments remain largely unknown and are complicated by their heterogeneity and dynamic nature. This review summarizes cell and organelle size relationships and the experimental approaches that have elucidated mechanisms of intracellular scaling.

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