Reliable Method for Detection of Programmed Cell Death in Yeast
Accumulating evidence suggests that yeasts are capable of undergoing programmed cell death (PCD) to benefit long-term survival of the species, and that yeast and mammals may share at least partially conserved PCD pathways. In our experience, mammalian apoptosis assays have not been readily applicable to yeast. Therefore, to take advantage of yeast as a genetic tool to study PCD, we developed a yeast cell death assay that can reliably reveal viability differences between wild-type strains and strains lacking the mitochondrial fission genes DNM1/Drp1 and FIS1, orthologs of mammalian cell death regulators. Cell viability following treatment with acetic acid is quantified by colony formation and vital dye (FUN1) staining to reproducibly detect dose-dependent, genetically programmed yeast cell death.
Key wordsYeast Programmed cell death Apoptosis Fis1 Dnm1 Acetic acid Colony forming assay FUN1, Mitochondria, Fission
The authors would like to thank Drs. Wen-Chih Cheng and Yihru Fannjiang who first developed this acetic acid-induced cell death assay for yeast. This work was supported by NIH grant RO1 GM077875.
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