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Cells 2018, 7(2), 14; doi:10.3390/cells7020014

The Yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a Model for Understanding RAS Proteins and their Role in Human Tumorigenesis

CBMA—Centre of Molecular and Environmental Biology, Department of Biology, University of Minho, Campus de Gualtar, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde, Universidade do Porto, Rua Alfredo Allen 208, 4200-135 Porto, Portugal
New Therapies Group, INEB-Institute for Biomedical Engineering, 4200-135 Porto, Portugal
IPATIMUP-Institute of Molecular Pathology and Immunology, University of Porto, Rua Júlio Amaral de Carvalho 45, 4200-135 Porto, Portugal
Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Porto, Rua do Campo Alegre S/N, 4169-007 Porto, Portugal
These senior authors contributed equally to this work.
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 December 2017 / Revised: 5 February 2018 / Accepted: 12 February 2018 / Published: 19 February 2018
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The exploitation of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a biological model for the investigation of complex molecular processes conserved in multicellular organisms, such as humans, has allowed fundamental biological discoveries. When comparing yeast and human proteins, it is clear that both amino acid sequences and protein functions are often very well conserved. One example of the high degree of conservation between human and yeast proteins is highlighted by the members of the RAS family. Indeed, the study of the signaling pathways regulated by RAS in yeast cells led to the discovery of properties that were often found interchangeable with RAS proto-oncogenes in human pathways, and vice versa. In this work, we performed an updated critical literature review on human and yeast RAS pathways, specifically highlighting the similarities and differences between them. Moreover, we emphasized the contribution of studying yeast RAS pathways for the understanding of human RAS and how this model organism can contribute to unveil the roles of RAS oncoproteins in the regulation of mechanisms important in the tumorigenic process, like autophagy. View Full-Text
Keywords: RAS proteins; S. cerevisiae; model; homologues; colorectal cancer; autophagy; KRAS RAS proteins; S. cerevisiae; model; homologues; colorectal cancer; autophagy; KRAS

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. (CC BY 4.0).

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Cazzanelli, G.; Pereira, F.; Alves, S.; Francisco, R.; Azevedo, L.; Dias Carvalho, P.; Almeida, A.; Côrte-Real, M.; Oliveira, M.J.; Lucas, C.; Sousa, M.J.; Preto, A. The Yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a Model for Understanding RAS Proteins and their Role in Human Tumorigenesis. Cells 2018, 7, 14.

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