Investigating BCL-2 Family Protein Interactions in Yeast
Among the different models used to study the biochemical properties and function of proteins of the Bcl-2 family, their heterologous expression in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae may look out of place. However, when grown under adequate conditions, yeast cells have mitochondria that have similar properties as those of mammalian cells, and are able to be targeted by mammalian Bcl-2 family members. Yeast thus provides a neutral cellular background to study how proteins of the Bcl-2 family interact with mitochondria, alone or as a couple (or a combination of more proteins). Most studies done in our laboratory has been done on the proapoptotic protein Bax and the antiapoptotic protein Bcl-xL, but yeast can bring about useful information about every protein of the family, in terms of their capacity to interact and to regulate the permeabilization of the outer mitochondrial membrane.
Key wordsBCL-2 family Bax Bcl-xL Mitochondria Yeast
The work in the lab of the author is supported by the CNRS and the Université of Bordeaux. The author wishes to thank the PhD students who have optimized these protocols, namely Muriel Priault, Hubert Arokium, and Thibaud T. Renault.
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