Yeast as a tool to study Bax/mitochondrial interactions in cell death

Muriel Priault, Nadine Camougrand, Kathleen W. Kinnally, François M. Vallette, Stéphen Manon

    Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review


    The budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has proven to be a powerful tool in investigations of the molecular aspects of the events involved in apoptosis, particularly the steps implicating mitochondria. Yeast does not have obvious homologs of the proteins involved in the regulation of apoptosis, and provides a simplified model system in which the function of these proteins can be unraveled. This review focuses on the interactions of two of the major pro-apoptotic Bcl-2 family members, Bax and Bid, with mitochondria. It is shown that yeast has allowed questioning of several crucial aspects of the function of these two proteins, namely the molecular mechanisms driving their insertion into the mitochondrial outer membrane and those leading to the permeabilization to cytochrome c. More recently, signaling pathways leading to Bax-induced cell death, as well as other forms of cell death, have been identified in yeast. Both 'apoptosis-like' and autophagy-related forms of cell degradation are involved, and mitochondria play a central role in these two signaling pathways.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)15-27
    Number of pages13
    JournalFEMS Yeast Research
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Oct 2003


    • AIF, apoptosis-inducing factor
    • ANT, adenine nucleotide translocator
    • Apoptosis
    • Autophagy
    • Bax
    • Cytochrome c
    • MAC, mitochondrial apoptosis-induced channel
    • Mitochondrion
    • PTP, permeability transition pore
    • ROS, reactive oxygen species
    • Yeast

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Microbiology
    • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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