Multinucleate (also multinucleated, coenocytic) cells have more than one nucleus per cell, which is the result of nuclear division not being followed by cytokinesis. As a consequence, multiple nuclei share one common cytoplasm. This can be the consequence of a disturbed cell cycle control (e.g. in metastazing tumor cells and certain mutants of S. cerevisiae) but also commonly occurs naturally (e.g. in filamentous fungi, cells of the musculoskeletal and blood systems of mammals).
In some cases these cells are produced from specialized cell cycles in which nuclear division occurs without cell division leading to large syncytia. For fungi, multinucleate cells may extend over hundreds of meters so that different regions of a single cell experience dramatically different microenvironments.
Mitosis in multinucleate cells can occur either in a coordinated, synchronous manner where all nuclei divide simultaneously or asynchronously where individual nuclei divide independently in time and space.
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