Converse Smith-Martin cell cycle kinetics by transformed B lymphocytes Academic Article uri icon


  • Recent studies using direct live cell imaging have reported that individual B lymphocytes have correlated transit times between their G1 and S/G2/M phases. This finding is in contradiction with the influential model of Smith and Martin that assumed the bulk of the total cell cycle time variation arises in the G1 phase of the cell cycle with little contributed by the S/G2/M phase. Here we extend these studies to examine the relation between cell cycle phase lengths in two B lymphoma cell lines. We report that transformed B lymphoma cells undergo a short G1 period that displays little correlation with the time taken for the subsequent S/G2/M phase. Consequently, the bulk of the variation noted for total division times within a population is found in the S/G2/M phases and not the G1 phase. Models that reverse the expected source of variation and assume a single deterministic time in G1 followed by a lag + exponential distribution for S/G2/M fit the data well. These models can be improved further by adopting two sequential distributions or by using the stretched lognormal model developed for primary lymphocytes. We propose that shortening of G1 transit times and uncoupling from other cell cycle phases may be a hallmark of lymphocyte transformation that could serve as an observable phenotypic marker of cancer evolution.

publication date

  • 2018