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FEMS Yeast Res. 2010 Dec;10(8):970-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1567-1364.2010.00649.x.

Simple is good: yeast models of neurodegeneration.

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Cell and Molecular Neuroscience Unit, Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Lisboa, Portugal.


The budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is the best-studied eukaryotic cell, at both genetic and physiological levels. As a eukaryote, yeast shares highly conserved molecular and cellular mechanisms with human cells. Thus, this simple fungus is an invaluable model to study the fundamental molecular mechanisms involved in several human diseases. In the particular case of neurodegenerative disorders, yeast models have been able to recapitulate several important features of complex and devastating disorders, such as Huntington's and Parkinson's diseases. Once validated, these models have also been used to accelerate the identification of both novel therapeutic targets and compounds with therapeutic potential. Here, we review the recent contributions of this simple, but powerful model organism toward our understanding of neurodegeneration.

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