High School Biology : Understanding Cell Cycle Regulation

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for High School Biology

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Understanding Cell Cycle Regulation

During the cell cycle, there are several checkpoints to ensure proper cell growth and division. Which checkpoint ensures that each duplicated chromatid is appropriately attached to cellular machinery in order to segregate properly?

Possible Answers:

G2 checkpoint

G1 checkpoint

G0 checkpoint

Metaphase checkpoint

Correct answer:

Metaphase checkpoint

Explanation:

During mitosis, the metaphase checkpoint ensures that each duplicated chromatid is attached to the spindle apparatus. If the metaphase checkpoint is not satisfied, the cell will not enter anaphase. This checkpoint is essential for preventing aneuploidy, a condition in which there are an abnormal number of chromosomes in a cell.

The G1 checkpoint determines if the cell will enter the S phase to replicate DNA and prepare for cell division. Quiescent cells, cells that do not frequently divide, are often stopped at the G1 checkpoint for long periods. The G2 checkpoint is used to prevent the cell from entering mitosis if there were errors in the replication of DNA during the S phase. Failure to pass the G2 checkpoint can result in apoptosis. There is no G0 checkpoint.

Example Question #2 : Understanding Cell Cycle Regulation

Which of the following best describes the two primary purposes of Active S cyclin-CDK phosphorylation in the cell cycle?

Possible Answers:

The prevention of new complexes from forming AND targeting mitotic cyclins for degradation.

The activation of each assembled pre-replication complex AND the prevention of new complexes from forming.

The activation of each assembled pre-replication complex AND promoting the expression of enzymes needed for DNA replication.

The activation of each assembled pre-replication complex AND targeting mitotic cyclins for degradation.

The targeting of mitotic cyclins for degradation AND promoting the expression of enzymes needed for DNA replication.

Correct answer:

The activation of each assembled pre-replication complex AND the prevention of new complexes from forming.

Explanation:

Active S cyclin-CDK phosphorylation in the cell cycle is primarily intended to ensure that each portion of the cell's genome is copied once and only once. Daughter cells that do not copy a complete genome will likely die; however, carrying extra copies of certain genes will also negatively affect daughter cells, and phosphorylation of proteins that make up pre-replication complexes safeguards against this.

Example Question #3 : Understanding Cell Cycle Regulation

Out of all phases in the cell cycle, most cells spend the majority of their life in __________.

Possible Answers:

Interphase

Metaphase

Telophase

Prophase

Anaphase

Correct answer:

Interphase

Explanation:

Cell division, or mitosis, is a rather small portion of a cell's life and includes prophase, metaphase, anaphase and telophase.  The majority of a cell's life is spent in interphase.

Example Question #4 : Understanding Cell Cycle Regulation

Most cells spend the vast majority of their time in __________.

Possible Answers:

anaphase I

meiosis

prophase

interphase

mitosis

Correct answer:

interphase

Explanation:

Most cells spend about 90% of their time in interphase. Note that mitosis and meiosis comprise only about 10% of the cell cycle.

Example Question #5 : Understanding Cell Cycle Regulation

During the G1 phase of the cell cycle, in which form will Eukaryotic DNA be found?

Possible Answers:

Chromosomes

Plasmid

Chromatid

Chromatin

Unfolded continuous strand

Correct answer:

Chromatin

Explanation:

Chromosomes and Chromatid are both incorrect because eukaryotic DNA is condensed into these tightly packed chromosomal structures during M phase of mitosis. Plasmids are not found in eukaryotes and an unfolded continuous strand of DNA would be too long to fit within a nucleus. Thus, Chromatin is the correct answer choice; chromatin is a protein-DNA complex in a loosely packed form which allows for gene transcription which is necessary during the G1 phase of the cell cycle. 

Example Question #6 : Understanding Cell Cycle Regulation

What is the initial checkpoint in a mammalian cell cycle whose major function is to allow or disallow a cell to mitotically divide?

Possible Answers:

Gcheckpoint

G3 checkpoint

M checkpoint

G1 checkpoint

S checkpoint

Correct answer:

G1 checkpoint

Explanation:

The GCheckpoint is the correct answer, because if a cell gets a signal at this checkpoint then the cell goes on to complete the S, G2, and M phases and will end up dividing. If this signal is not received at the G1 checkpoint then the cell enters the non-dividing Gphase.

Example Question #7 : Understanding Cell Cycle Regulation

There are several checkpoints during the cell cycle to ensure proper growth and division. Which checkpoint of the cell cycle is considered the "point of no return?"

Possible Answers:

Telophase checkpoint

G1 checkpoint

There is no point of no return. The cell can always go back and resume normal cell function. 

G2 checkpoint

Metaphase checkpoint

Correct answer:

G1 checkpoint

Explanation:

Once the cell passes the G1 checkpoint, the cell becomes committed to the cell cycle and enters the S phase where DNA is replicated. The checkpoint is to ensure the cell has grown enough and has enough resources to begin DNA replication. The next checkpoint is the G2 checkpoint, where the cell checks and makes sure the DNA replicated correctly before beginning mitosis. If the cell does not pass this checkpoint, it commences apoptosis and dies. 

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