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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2008 Jul;1783(7):1381-95. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamcr.2008.01.020. Epub 2008 Feb 11.

Protein folding diseases and neurodegeneration: lessons learned from yeast.

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Functional Biology, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Kasteelpark Arenberg 31, Leuven-Heverlee, Belgium.


Budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has proven to be a valuable model organism for studying fundamental cellular processes across the eukaryotic kingdom including man. In this respect, complementation assays, in which the yeast protein is replaced by a homologous protein from another organism, have been very instructive. A newer trend is to use the yeast cell factory as a toolbox to understand cellular processes controlled by proteins for which the yeast lacks functional counterparts. An increasing number of studies have indicated that S. cerevisiae is a suitable model system to decipher molecular mechanisms involved in a variety of neurodegenerative disorders caused by aberrant protein folding. Here we review the current knowledge gained by the use of so-called humanized yeasts in the field of Huntington's, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases.

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