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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.[1] It is considered to be a recovery mechanism.[2]


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.[2] The group generated a population of human retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells that would undergo karyokinesis but miss the cytokinesis stage.[2] Using live cell imaging,[3] 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.[4] 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.[5]

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.[4] 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.[2]

Klerokinesis was presented by a team from the UW Carbone Cancer Center[4] in 2012, at the annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology in San Francisco.[1]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "New form of cell division found". Retrieved 20 August 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d "New Cell Division". Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  3. ^ "Newly discovered form of cell division may help ward off cancer". Retrieved 20 August 2016.
  4. ^ a b c "Cell Division May Prevent Cancer". Retrieved 20 August 2016.
  5. ^ "New form of cell division found: Natural back-up mechanism during faulty cell division". Retrieved 20 August 2016.