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Budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model to study oxidative modification of proteins in eukaryotes

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The budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a well studied unicellular eukaryotic organism the genome of which has been sequenced. The use of yeast in many commercial systems makes its investigation important not only from basic, but also from practical point of view. Yeast may be grown under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions. The investigation of the response of eukaryotes to different kinds of stresses was pioneered owing to yeast and here we focus mainly on the so-called oxidative stress. It is a result of an imbalance between the formation and decomposition of reactive oxygen species increasing their steady-state concentration. Reactive oxygen species may attack any cellular component. In the present review oxidation of proteins in S. cerevisiae is analyzed. There are two connected approaches to study oxidative protein modification - characterization of the overall process and identification of individual oxidized proteins. Because all aerobic organisms possess special systems which defend them against reactive oxygen species, the involvement of so-called antioxidant enzymes, particularly superoxide dismutase and catalase, in the protection of proteins is also analyzed.
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