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Natural Sciences Colloquium - Ralf Braun: Modelling neurotoxic cell death in yeast

When May 22, 2014
from 05:15 PM to 06:00 PM
Where ZBSA, Habsburgerstr. 49, 79104 Freiburg
Contact Name
Contact Phone +49 (0)761 203-97398
Attendees Universitätsoffen / Open to university members
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Neurodegeneration is characterized by the disease-specific loss of neuronal activity, culminating in the irreversible destruction of neurons. Neuronal cell death can proceed via distinct subroutines such as apoptosis and necrosis, but the underlying molecular mechanisms remain poorly understood. Baker’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) is an established model for programmed cell death, characterized by distinct cell death pathways conserved from yeast to mammals. We are using yeast models for several neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer disease, frontotemporal dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Heterologous expression of human proteins implicated in these disorders, including TDP-43 and frameshift ubiquitin B, triggers growth deficits, loss of clonogenic survival, induction of oxidative stress, apoptosis and necrosis in yeast. We aim at the mechanistic dissection of the underlying cell death pathways in yeast. We trust that the new mechanisms described in yeast will enable the targeted validation in higher model organisms, and will therefore contribute to a better understanding of human neurodegenerative disorders.