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EMBO Rep. 2005 Nov;6(11):1076-81. Epub 2005 Sep 9.

Yeast caspase 1 links messenger RNA stability to apoptosis in yeast.

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  • 1Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Pasteur Institute-Cenci Bolognetti Foundation, University of Rome La Sapienza, Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Rome, Italy.


During the past years, yeasts have been successfully established as models to study the mechanisms of apoptotic regulation. We recently showed that mutations in the LSM4 gene, which is involved in messenger RNA decapping, lead to increased mRNA stability and apoptosis in yeast. Here, we show that mitochondrial function and YCA1, which encodes a budding yeast metacaspase, are necessary for apoptosis triggered by stabilization of mRNAs. Deletion of YCA1 in yeast cells mutated in the LSM4 gene prevents mitochondrial fragmentation and rapid cell death during chronological ageing of the culture, diminishes reactive oxygen species accumulation and DNA breakage, and increases resistance to H2O2 and acetic acid. mRNA levels in lsm4 mutants deleted for YCA1 are still increased, positioning the Yca1 budding yeast caspase as a downstream executor of cell death induced by mRNA perturbations. In addition, we show that mitochondrial function is necessary for fast death during chronological ageing, as well as in LSM4 mutated and wild-type cells.

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