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Mol Aspects Med. 2001 Aug-Oct;22(4-5):217-46.

Oxidative stress and signal transduction in Saccharomyces cerevisiae: insights into ageing, apoptosis and diseases.

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Instituto de Biologia Molecular e Celular, Unidade de Stress em Microrganismos, Rua do Campo Alegre 823, 4150-180, Porto, Portugal.


In yeast, as in higher eukaryotes, reactive oxygen species are produced as normal by-products of cellular metabolism. Under physiological conditions, the cell defence mechanisms are able to avoid molecular damages. This balance is disturbed when yeast cells are exposed to diverse environmental stress conditions, such as the presence of oxidants, heat shock, ethanol and metal ions. The increased production of reactive oxygen species is sensed by the cell, leading to the induction of defence mechanisms - the oxidative stress response. The present review discusses the mechanisms by which reactive oxygen species are sensed and the signalling pathways that are coupled with changes in genomic expression programs. Yeast has been used as an eukaryotic cell system to characterise the molecular mechanisms underlying the oxidative stress response. Furthermore, yeast has been utilised to elucidate the role of oxidative stress in ageing, apoptosis, and diseases, such as familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Friedreich's ataxia.

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