Humans And Yeast As A Model For Human Biology Essay

1190 Words Nov 2nd, 2015 null Page
All living organisms share commonalities in their underlying molecular makeup; thus, knowledge of processes studied in one organism can often be translated to others. Humans and the baker’s yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae diverged from a common ancestor about one billion years ago and have shared several thousand orthologous genes, accounting for more than one-third of the yeast genome. The homology between humans and yeast, and the inherent tractability of yeast, had made researchers expand its usefulness as a model for human biology, by both heterologous expression of human proteins, as well as by modifying the yeast cells directly to humanize specific amino acids, proteins or even yeast pathways. To determine whether genes retained ancestral functions over a billion years ago of evolution and to identify principles of deep evolutionary divergence, there had to be replacement of 414 essential yeast genes with their human orthologs, examining the complementation of lethal grown defects upon the yeast genes (1). There are studies that ranged in their degree of direct translation to humans, from using yeast proteins to identify targets for human drugs to large-scale replacement of yeast genes with their human orthologs (2). To do this they cloned the human orthologs into a yeast plasmid and the genes were placed under control of an inducible (Gal) or constitutive (GPD) promoter. Additionally, the yeast strains were engineered so that the expression of the yeast genes could…

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