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The best I've been able to find is that there's a feedback mechanism, but what is this feedback, and how does the mechanism work? If it's just that the concentration of thymidine is too high, why won't excess quantities of other nucleotides do the same thing? (Or do they, and I don't know about it?)

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Excess thymidine in a mitotic cell generates negative feedback on the production of deoxycytidine triphosphate from cytidine-5'-phosphate. Excess quantities of deoxyadenosine and deoxyguanosine also block progression through S-phase. However, as a reagent for the control of replication timing, thymidine has been found to work best as its blocking activity can be applied and reversed more consistently.

Xeros N. (1962) Deoxyriboside Control and Synchronization of Mitosis. Nature 194: 682-683.

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