The division cycle of most cells consists of four coordinated processes: cell growth, DNA replication, distribution of the duplicated chromosomes to daughter cells, and cell division. In bacteria, cell growth and DNA replication take place throughout most of the cell cycle, and duplicated chromosomes are distributed to daughter cells in association with the plasma membrane. In eukaryotes, however, the cell cycle is more complex and consists of four discrete phases. Although cell growth is usually a continuous process, DNA is synthesized during only one phase of the cell cycle, and the replicated chromosomes are then distributed to daughter nuclei by a complex series of events preceding cell division. Progression between these stages of the cell cycle is controlled by a conserved regulatory apparatus, which not only coordinates the different events of the cell cycle but also links the cell cycle with extracellular signals that control cell proliferation.