These authors contributed equally to this study.
Harnessing the power of yeast to unravel the molecular basis of neurodegeneration
Article first published online: 8 MAY 2013
© 2013 International Society for Neurochemistry
Journal of Neurochemistry
Volume 127, Issue 4, pages 438–452, November 2013
How to Cite
J. Neurochem. (2013) 127, 438–452.
- Issue published online: 4 NOV 2013
- Article first published online: 8 MAY 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 20 APR 2013 01:00AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 4 APR 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 2 APR 2013
- Manuscript Received: 9 MAR 2013
- Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia. Grant Numbers: PTDC/SAU-NEU/105215/2008, PTDC/BIA-BCM/117975/2010, SFRH/BPD/35767/2007
- DFG Cluster of Excellence Center for Nanoscale Microscopy
- DFG Cluster of Excellence Center for Nanoscale Microscopy and Molecular Physiology of the Brain (CNMPB)
- Dresden International Graduate School for Biomedicine and Bioengineering (DIGS-BB)
- protein aggregation;
- protein misfolding;
- S. cerevisiae
Several neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's disease (PD), Alzheimer's disease (AD), Huntington's disease (HD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or prion diseases, are known for their intimate association with protein misfolding and aggregation. These disorders are characterized by the loss of specific neuronal populations in the brain and are highly associated with aging, suggesting a decline in proteostasis capacity may contribute to pathogenesis. Nevertheless, the precise molecular mechanisms that lead to the selective demise of neurons remain poorly understood. As a consequence, appropriate therapeutic approaches and effective treatments are largely lacking. The development of cellular and animal models that faithfully reproduce central aspects of neurodegeneration has been crucial for advancing our understanding of these diseases. Approaches involving the sequential use of different model systems, starting with simpler cellular models and ending with validation in more complex animal models, resulted in the discovery of promising therapeutic targets and small molecules with therapeutic potential. Within this framework, the simple and well-characterized eukaryote Saccharomyces cerevisiae, also known as budding yeast, is being increasingly used to study the molecular basis of several neurodegenerative disorders. Yeast provides an unprecedented toolbox for the dissection of complex biological processes and pathways. Here, we summarize how yeast models are adding to our current understanding of several neurodegenerative disorders.