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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2012, Article ID 912147, 10 pages
Review Article

Yeast as a Tool to Study Signaling Pathways in Mitochondrial Stress Response and Cytoprotection

CNR—Istituto di Biomembrane e Bioenergetica, Via Amendola 165/A, 70126 Bari, Italy

Received 28 October 2011; Accepted 29 November 2011

Academic Editors: A. Heinen, S. K. Ray, and F. Rodrigues

Copyright © 2012 Maša Ždralević 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.


Cell homeostasis results from the balance between cell capability to adapt or succumb to environmental stress. Mitochondria, in addition to supplying cellular energy, are involved in a range of processes deciding about cellular life or death. The crucial role of mitochondria in cell death is well recognized. Mitochondrial dysfunction has been associated with the death process and the onset of numerous diseases. Yet, mitochondrial involvement in cellular adaptation to stress is still largely unexplored. Strong interest exists in pharmacological manipulation of mitochondrial metabolism and signaling. The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has proven a valuable model organism in which several intracellular processes have been characterized in great detail, including the retrograde response to mitochondrial dysfunction and, more recently, programmed cell death. In this paper we review experimental evidences of mitochondrial involvement in cytoprotection and propose yeast as a model system to investigate the role of mitochondria in the cross-talk between prosurvival and prodeath pathways.