The growing concept that microbial multicellular aggregates form

The growing concept that microbial multicellular aggregates form functional and higher organized structures, as a kind of proto-tissue, supports the notion that PCD may be a much more spread and conserved mechanism of cellular altruistic behaviour. The characteristic apoptotic markers, as DNA fragmentation, phosphatidylserine externalization, chromatin condensation, release

of cytochrome C, and/or caspases activation are MLN8237 cost also valid to assess apoptotic yeast cells [1, 8]. Furthermore, an increasing list of homologues of apoptotic regulators in metazoans has been identified in yeast, such as Yca1p, the proposed yeast caspase [9]; Aifp, the apoptosis inducing factor [10]; EndoG, an endonuclease which regulates not only life but also death in yeast [11]; Nma111p, a yeast HtrA-like protein [12]; Bir1p, an inhibitor-of-apoptosis

protein [13] and Ybh3p, a yeast protein that interacts with Bcl-xL and harbours a functional BH3 domain [14]. Additionally, the expression in S. cerevisiae of the mammalian Bcl-2 family and PKC isoforms [15], led to the same phenotypes observed in mammalian cells, see more providing evidence that apoptosis is an evolutionarily conserved mechanism. Several agents can induce yeast PCD, like hydrogen peroxide, UV radiation, the absence of nutrients, hyper-osmotic stress, acetic acid [8] and aging [6]. Aging in yeast can be studied assessing either replicative or chronological lifespan. Replicative lifespan is defined as the number Rucaparib chemical structure of daughter cells a single yeast mother cell produces before senescence; chronological lifespan is defined by the length of time cells can survive in a non-dividing, quiescence-like state [16]. Chronological aged yeast cells also exhibit typical apoptotic markers. During

chronological aging, the old yeasts die and release certain substances (nutrients) into the medium in order to promote survival of other aged cells, yet fitter ones [6]. On the other hand, it has been demonstrated that apoptotic S. cerevisiae cells display changes in the expression of some genes associated with the sphingolipids metabolism [17], which is consistent with changes in the proportions of the various sphingolipid types in dying cells [18]. Carmona-Guitierrez and co-authors [19] observed the apoptosis induction by external addition of C2-ceramide, whereas Barbosa and co- authors reported changes in sphingolipids during chronological aging, namely a decrease of dihydrosphingosine levels and an increase of dihydro-C(26) -ceramide and phyto-C(26) -ceramide levels [20]. Also, a role in apoptosis and aging of Ydc1p ceramidase was described [18], and a yeast homologue of mammalian neutral sphingomyelinase 2 was associated with apoptosis [21]. Moreover, some intermediates in sphingolipids biosynthesis act as signalling molecules and growth regulators [22, 23].

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