Klerokinesis (from the Greek root for allotted inheritance) has been claimed to be a new form of cell division in human cells. It is thought to serve as a natural back-up mechanism during faulty cell division (cytokinesis), thus preventing some cells from forming into cancer cells. It is considered to be a recovery mechanism.
The new cellular process was identified when researchers at University of Wisconsin were blocking cells from undergoing cytokinesis — a process during cell division in which the cytoplasm of a single eukaryotic cell is divided to form two daughter cells. The group generated a population of human retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells that would undergo karyokinesis but miss the cytokinesis stage. Using live cell imaging, klerokinesis was found while studying human RPE cells to establish the hypothesis of German biologist Theodor Boveri, that the presence of an abnormal number of sets of chromosomes in a cell (polyploidy) would lead to out-of-control cell division, causing cancer. However, contrary to Boveri's hypothesis, researchers found that abnormal cell division rarely has long-term negative effects in human cells, rather, some cell divisions occurred later than the end of mitosis in such a way that the normal chromosome complement was restored.
Similar divisions like klerokinesis have been observed in slime molds. It is thought that klerokinesis is a primitive mechanism of cell division that appears to be preserved in humans. Researchers saw that this mechanism was happening about 90% of the time and that the cells were getting abnormal chromosome sets about 10% of the time.
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- "New form of cell division found: Natural back-up mechanism during faulty cell division". Retrieved 20 August 2016.