Alzheimer's disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease, associated with aggregation of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides. The exact mechanism of neuronal cell dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease is poorly understood and numerous models have been used to decipher the mechanisms leading to cellular death. Yeast cells might be a good model to understand the intracellular toxicity triggered by Aβ peptides. Indeed, yeast has been used as a model to examine protein functions or cellular pathways that mediate the secretion, aggregation and subsequent toxicity of proteins associated with human neurodegenerative disorders. In the present study, we use the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model system to study the effects of intracellular Aβ in fusion with green fluorescent protein. We sent this fusion protein into the secretory pathway and showed that intracellular traffic pathways are necessary for the generation of toxic species. Yeast PICALM orthologs are involved in cellular toxicity, indicating conservation of the mechanisms of toxicity from mammals to yeast. Finally, our model demonstrates the capacity for intracellular Aβ to cross intracellular membranes and target mitochondrial organelles.
- Received April 23, 2012.
- Accepted August 2, 2012.
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