Yeast as a Model for Human Disease

Michael G. Smith1, Michael Snyder1

1 Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
Publication Name:  Current Protocols in Human Genetics
Unit Number:  Unit 15.6
DOI:  10.1002/0471142905.hg1506s48
Online Posting Date:  February, 2006
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The sequencing of the human genome promised the identification of disease‐causing genes and, subsequently, therapies for those diseases. However, when identifying the genetic basis of a disease, it is not uncommon to discover an abnormal protein whose normal function is unknown. The genetic manipulations required to assign function to genes is often extremely difficult, if not impossible, in human cells. Model organisms have been used to facilitate understanding of gene function because of the ease of genetic manipulations and because many features of eukaryotic physiology have been conserved across phyla. Yeast is a simple eukaryote with a tractable genome, a short generation time, and a large network of researchers who have generated a vast arsenal of research tools. These traits make yeast ideally suited to help reveal the function of genes implicated in human disease.

Keywords: yeast; human disease; genetics; gene function; genomics

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Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Strategic Approaches to Experimental Design
  • Human Diseases Studied in Yeast
  • Limitations
  • Literature Cited
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Literature Cited

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