Saccharomyces cerevisiae: Applications


The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has traditionally found useful applications in the production of food and alcoholic beverages. The completed sequence of its genome has revolutionized the use of yeast as a model system for the investigation of eukaryotic cell processes at a whole‐genome level. The production of enzymes and recombinant proteins and the development of drug screening assays are commercial applications of yeast cells.

Keywords: genome; transcriptome; proteome; two‐hybrid screening

Figure 1.

Transcriptional profiling method for global gene expression analysis. Total RNA is isolated from yeast cells. Reverse transcriptase produces cDNA labelled with fluorescent‐dyes. The fragmented dye‐tagged cDNA fragments are hybridized to microarrays. Fluorescent signals immobilized on the microarray indicate the presence of specific mRNAs in the total yeast cell RNA.

Figure 2.

The yeast two‐hybrid method for detection of protein–protein interactions. Proteins in the yeast nucleus bind to each other and to DNA (black strands) in the promoter region of a gene. (a) In wild‐type yeast cells transcription factor Gal4 protein binds to DNA and to an RNA polymerase complex (RNA Pol), resulting in expression of any of several genes for galactose utilization. (b) Two‐hybrid screening strains contain the transcription factor only in the form of fusion polypeptides composed of Gal4p domains and test protein (α or β) domains. Transcriptional activation occurs only if α and β interact.


Further Reading

Bartel PL and Fields S (eds) (1997) The Yeast Two‐Hybrid System. New York: Oxford University Press.

Broach JR, Jones EW and Pringle JR (eds) (1998) The Molecular Biology of the Yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Cold Spring Harbor, NY: Cold Spring Harbor Press.

Campbell MA (2003) Isotope‐Coded Affinity Tags (ICAT) technology. (An animation of ICAT proteomic analysis technology using yeast.).

Guthrie C and Fink GR (eds) (1991) Guide to Yeast Genetics and Molecular Biology. Methods in Enzymology, 194. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

MacDonald PN (ed.) (2001) Two‐Hybrid Systems: Methods and Protocols. Totowa, NJ: Humana Press Inc.

World Wide Web Virtual Library (2003) Yeast (Budding, Fission, and Candida) http://genome‐‐yeast.html (Section of the Virtual Library describing the yeast model organisms).

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Pausch, Mark H, Kirsch, Donald R, and Silverman, Sanford J(May 2005) Saccharomyces cerevisiae: Applications. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0003885]