Hypothesis: cell volume limits cell divisions
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Mammalian somatic cells and also cells of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae are capable of undergoing a limited number of divisions. Reaching the division limit is referred to, apparently not very fortunately, as replicative aging. A common feature of S. cerevisiae cells and fibroblasts approaching the limit of cell divisions in vitro is attaining giant volumes. In yeast cells this phenomenon is an inevitable consequence of budding so it is not causally related to aging. Therefore, reaching a critically large cell volume may underlie the limit of cell divisions. A similar phenomenon may limit the number of cell divisions of cultured mammalian cells. The term replicative (generative) aging may be therefore illegitimate.
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