Timothy Hunt FRS and Sir Paul Nurse FRS of The Imperial Cancer Research Fund, London, and Leland Hartwell of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, USA were today (8 October 2001) awarded the 100th Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for their work identifying the key regulatory molecules of the cell cycle.

In a sequence of experiments with the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae in 1970-71 Leland Hartwell identified a number of cells carrying mutations in the genes that control the cell cycle. He identified over one hundred such genes and labelled them cell division control (CDC) genes. Further work led to the identification of the CDC28 gene that controls the process by which cells progress through the G1-phase of the cell cycle. This gene was consequently called 'start' and its expression is a crucial point at which cell proliferation is integrated with extra- and intracellular...

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