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Model Systems in Cancer Research: Yeast

Course describing model organisms and examples of their use in cancer research

Budding yeast cell division

Compare cell division in budding yeast  to cell division in human cells in video above.

Human cell division


Breast cancer cell division - timelapse video over 3 days 

Yeast Two-hybrid

yeast 2-hybrid graphic

Click on image to access the narrated animation describing the yeast two-hybrid assay.

The Cell Cycle

Narrated animation describing the stages of the cell cycle.

Lecture Slides and Papers

Yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae)

Lecture videos are available for viewing in the left column. They illustrate key points about the following:

The Cell cycle
Human cell versus yeast cell division
The Yeast two-hybrid technique

Required/Encouraged Reading

1. An overview for the interested layperson
L. H. Hartwell's Yeast: A Model Organism for Studying Somatic Mutations and Cancer

2. A more in-depth recounting of yeast and the cell cycle
Yeast and Cancer: Leland Hartwell, Nobel Lecture

3. Review of yeast techniques in the 'omics era
Yeast-based functional genomics and proteomics technologies: the first 15 years and beyond


Additional Reading

Yeast as a model system for anti-cancer drug discovery

Lecture Slides

Books in Library

The following books are on course reserve in the the Arnold Library, Weintraub building for two weeks. If you are interested in a more in depth view of the topics covered take a look.

1. "Yeast as tool in cancer research by Nitiss, John L., Heitman, Joseph. Look in the first floor copy room of the library. A recent, comprehensive book on yeast as a model for studying processes involved in cancer.

2. “Genetics From Genes to Genomes” by L. Hartwell, L. Hood, M.Goldberg, A. Reynolds, L. Silver, and R. Veres. Look in the reference section of the library. For a good overview of the cell cycle and yeast see Chapter 18 and Reference A.

On campus resources - FHCRC yeast labs

FHCRC scientists working with the yeast model system:

1. Sue Biggins: Chromosome seggregation 


2. Linda Breeden: Control of cell division


3. Antonio Bedalov: Drug discovery

4. Dan Gottschling: Aging 


5. Steven Hahn: Transcriptional regulation


6. Amanda Paulovich: DNA damage response


7. Julian Simon: Anti-cancer drugs

8. Gerry Smith: Meiotic recombination in the fission yeast

Schizosaccharomyces pombe


9. Toshi Tsukiyama: Chromatin regulation

Online Resources

1. There is a virtual library in the Saccharomyces genome database website. For general topics look in:

2. An online book on yeast molecular biology. A compedium on basic features and novel aspects by Horst Feldmann at the University of Munich.

3. "An Introduction to the Genetics and Molecular Biology of the Yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae" by Fred Sherman

4. The Yeast Resource Center of  The National Center for Research Resources is located right here in Seattle! The center provides expertise and access to 5 advanced technologies: mass spectrometry, yeast two-hybrid arrays, deconvolution fluorescence microscopy, protein structure prediction, and computational biology.