Research Topic

Determinants of Cell Size

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Cell size control is one of the most fundamental unresolved questions in cell biology. Loss of growth control and changes in cell size control are commonly observed during development and cell differentiation as well as in many human metabolic diseases and ageing suggesting that appropriate size control is ...

Cell size control is one of the most fundamental unresolved questions in cell biology. Loss of growth control and changes in cell size control are commonly observed during development and cell differentiation as well as in many human metabolic diseases and ageing suggesting that appropriate size control is essential for normal cellular physiology. Thus, understanding cell size control is likely to provide important insights into development as well as metabolic diseases and ageing.
Cell size is closely linked to cell proliferation and to cellular fitness and functionality in both unicellular and multicellular organisms. While genetics has played a key role in our attempts to understand cell size, biophysical and 'omics' approaches are becoming increasingly important tools in the development of an integrated view on how cell size is controlled by both genetic and environmental factors. While it is still debated if size control is active or passive, new mathematical models have been recently introduced that better capture the growth mode of cells during the cell cycle and such models remain an active area of research along with developments in high throughput imaging technologies to capture such growth data. In favour for active size control, mechanisms that allow cells to sense their size have been proposed and these provide new insights how cells have evolved to optimise their functionality.
In summary, this research topic aims to provide an up-to-date presentation in advances in cell size control and how cell size affects cellular physiology. Topics include size control in various model organisms from bacteria to plants and animal cells. While there may be not a single solution for size control for each organism, this topic aims to highlight common biological and biophysical constrains that affect cell size.


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