1. Cell Biology
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Mammalian cell growth dynamics in mitosis

  1. Teemu P Miettinen  Is a corresponding author
  2. Joon Ho Kang
  3. Lucy F Yang
  4. Scott R Manalis  Is a corresponding author
  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States
Research Article
  • Cited 17
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Cite this article as: eLife 2019;8:e44700 doi: 10.7554/eLife.44700


The extent and dynamics of animal cell biomass accumulation during mitosis are unknown, primarily because growth has not been quantified with sufficient precision and temporal resolution. Using the suspended microchannel resonator and protein synthesis assays, we quantify mass accumulation and translation rates between mitotic stages on a single-cell level. For various animal cell types, growth rates in prophase are commensurate with or higher than interphase growth rates. Growth is only stopped as cells approach metaphase-to-anaphase transition and growth resumes in late cytokinesis. Mitotic arrests stop growth independently of arresting mechanism. For mouse lymphoblast cells, growth in prophase is promoted by CDK1 through increased phosphorylation of 4E-BP1 and cap-dependent protein synthesis. Inhibition of CDK1-driven mitotic translation reduces daughter cell growth. Overall, our measurements counter the traditional dogma that growth during mitosis is negligible and provide insight into antimitotic cancer chemotherapies.

Data availability

All L1210 control buoyant mass measurement around M-phase, which were used for quantification of mitotic growth (Figure 1), MAR/mass dynamics (Figure 2), can be found in Figure 1-source data 1.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Teemu P Miettinen

    Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, United States
    For correspondence
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-5975-200X
  2. Joon Ho Kang

    Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, United States
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  3. Lucy F Yang

    Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, United States
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  4. Scott R Manalis

    Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, United States
    For correspondence
    Competing interests
    Scott R Manalis, is a co-founder of Travera and Affinity Biosensors, which develops techniques relevant to the research presented.


Wellcome (110275/Z/15/Z)

  • Teemu P Miettinen

National Cancer Institute (CA217377)

  • Scott R Manalis

Koch Institute Frontier Research Program (P30-CA14051)

  • Scott R Manalis


  • Joon Ho Kang

The authors declare that the funders had no involvement in study design, data collection, interpretation or presentation.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Jon Pines, Institute of Cancer Research Research, United Kingdom

Publication history

  1. Received: December 24, 2018
  2. Accepted: May 5, 2019
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: May 7, 2019 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: May 24, 2019 (version 2)


© 2019, Miettinen et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.


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