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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 941232, 12 pages
Review Article

Contribution of Yeast Models to Neurodegeneration Research

REQUIMTE, Laboratory of Microbiology, Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Porto, Rua Jorge Viterbo Ferreira, 228, 4050-313 Porto, Portugal

Received 16 February 2012; Revised 11 April 2012; Accepted 7 May 2012

Academic Editor: Claudia Spampinato

Copyright © 2012 Clara Pereira et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


As a model organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae has greatly contributed to our understanding of many fundamental aspects of cellular biology in higher eukaryotes. More recently, engineered yeast models developed to study endogenous or heterologous proteins that lay at the root of a given disease have become powerful tools for unraveling the molecular basis of complex human diseases like neurodegeneration. Additionally, with the possibility of performing target-directed large-scale screenings, yeast models have emerged as promising first-line approaches in the discovery process of novel therapeutic opportunities against these pathologies. In this paper, several yeast models that have contributed to the uncovering of the etiology and pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative diseases are described, including the most common forms of neurodegeneration worldwide, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's diseases. Moreover, the potential input of these cell systems in the development of more effective therapies in neurodegeneration, through the identification of genetic and chemical suppressors, is also addressed.