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J Cell Biol. 1997 Nov 3;139(3):729-34.

A yeast mutant showing diagnostic markers of early and late apoptosis.

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Physiologisch-chemisches Institut, Universität Tübingen, 72076 Tübingen, Germany.


A Saccharomyces cerevisiae mutant in cell division cycle gene CDC48 shows typical markers of apoptosis: membrane staining with annexin V, indicating an exposure of phosphatidylserine at the outer layer of the cytoplasmic membrane; intense staining, using the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling method, indicating DNA fragmentation; and chromatin condensation and fragmentation. The coordinate occurrence of these events at different locations in the cell, which have no obvious connection except their relation to apoptosis, implies the presence of the molecular machinery performing the basic steps of apoptosis already in yeast. Saccharomyces cerevisiae may prove a suitable model to trace the roots of apoptosis.

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