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Yeast mitochondrial biogenesis: a model system for humans?

Recently, our knowledge of yeast mitochondrial biogenesis has considerably progressed. This concerns the import machinery that guides preproteins synthesized on the cytoplasmic ribosomes through the mitochondrial outer and inner membranes, as well as the inner membrane insertion machinery of mitochondrially encoded polypeptides, or the proteins participating in the assembly and quality control of the respiratory complexes and ATP synthase. More recently, two new fields have emerged, biosynthesis of the iron-sulfur clusters and dynamics of the mitochondrion. Many of the newly discovered yeast proteins have homologues in human mitochondria. Thus, Saccharomyces cerevisiae has proven a particularly suitable simple organism for approaching the molecular bases of a growing number of human mitochondrial diseases caused by mutations in nuclear genes identified by positional cloning.[1]


  1. Yeast mitochondrial biogenesis: a model system for humans? Foury, F., Kucej, M. Current opinion in chemical biology. (2002) [Pubmed]
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