Yeast as a tool to study Bax/mitochondrial interactions in cell death.
Priault M, Camougrand N, Kinnally KW, Vallette FM, Manon S
FEMS Yeast Research (2003)
Category: apoptosis ¤ Added: Oct 15, 2003 ¤ Rating: ◊◊
The budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has proven to be a powerful tool in investigations of the molecular aspects of the events involved in apoptosis, particularly the steps implicating mitochondria. Yeast does not have obvious homologs of the proteins involved in the regulation of apoptosis, and provides a simplified model system in which the function of these proteins can be unraveled. This review focuses on the interactions of two of the major pro-apoptotic Bcl-2 family members, Bax and Bid, with mitochondria. It is shown that yeast has allowed questioning of several crucial aspects of the function of these two proteins, namely the molecular mechanisms driving their insertion into the mitochondrial outer membrane and those leading to the permeabilization to cytochrome c. More recently, signaling pathways leading to Bax-induced cell death, as well as other forms of cell death, have been identified in yeast. Both 'apoptosis-like' and autophagy-related forms of cell degradation are involved, and mitochondria play a central role in these two signaling pathways.