New insights into cancer-related proteins provided by the yeast model

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Abstract

Cancer is a devastating disease with a profound impact on society. In recent years, yeast has provided a valuable contribution with respect to uncovering the molecular mechanisms underlying this disease, allowing the identification of new targets and novel therapeutic opportunities. Indeed, several attributes make yeast an ideal model system for the study of human diseases. It combines a high level of conservation between its cellular processes and those of mammalian cells, with advantages such as a short generation time, ease of genetic manipulation and a wealth of experimental tools for genome- and proteome-wide analyses. Additionally, the heterologous expression of disease-causing proteins in yeast has been successfully used to gain an understanding of the functions of these proteins and also to provide clues about the mechanisms of disease progression. Yeast research performed in recent years has demonstrated the tremendous potential of this model system, especially with the validation of findings obtained with yeast in more physiologically relevant models. The present review covers the major aspects of the most recent developments in the yeast research area with respect to cancer. It summarizes our current knowledge on yeast as a cellular model for investigating the molecular mechanisms of action of the major cancer-related proteins that, even without yeast orthologues, still recapitulate in yeast some of the key aspects of this cellular pathology. Moreover, the most recent contributions of yeast genetics and high-throughput screening technologies that aim to identify some of the potential causes underpinning this disorder, as well as discover new therapeutic agents, are discussed.

Cancer is a devastating disease with a profound impact in our society. In the last years, yeast has given a valuable contribution to uncover the molecular mechanism underlying this disease. Here, the most recent contributions of yeast genetics and high-throughput screening technologies to identify some of the potential causes underpinning this disorder and to discover new therapeutic agents are discussed.

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