Cell Death and Differentiation vol:17 issue:5 pages:746-753
The budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has contributed significantly to our current understanding of eukaryotic cell biology. It served as a tool and model for unraveling the molecular basis of a wide variety of cellular phenomena, which seem to be conserved in other organisms. During the last decade, yeast has also extensively been used to study the mechanisms underlying several human diseases, including age-associated neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson's, Huntington's and Alzheimer's disease. In this review, we focus on a yeast model for synucleinopathies and summarize recent studies that not only provided new clues on how the misfolding of alpha-synuclein (alpha-syn) triggers toxicity and eventually cell death, but that also led to the identification of conserved suppressor proteins, which are effective in protecting cells, including neurons, from the alpha-syn-induced cytotoxicity.Cell Death and Differentiation advance online publication, 18 December 2009; doi:10.1038/cdd.2009.203.