From bread to bedside: What budding yeast has taught us about the immortalization of cancer cells
The budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a formidable model system indeed. With the entire genome sequenced, unparalleled genetic malleability, and an eukaryotic background, this system is virtually beyond compare for studying the multitude of biological pathways that are conserved amongst eukaryotes. Importantly with regards to human cancer, many of the cellular processes of the mammalian cell can be found, admittedly in a stripped-down version, in yeast. In this regard, yeasts are fertile ground for elucidating mechanisms and identifying the key players in cellular processes. This invaluable information can then act as a guide for the cancer cell biologist attempting to navigate the analogous pathway in the far more complex and elaborate system of the mammalian cell. One example of where yeast has been used in this regard is in understanding how cancer cells acquire the ability to divide indefinitely. Here we highlight the enormous contributions made by studies performed in the model system of S. cerevisiae to our understanding of this tumourigenic process. © 2007 Springer.
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