Despite a billion years of divergent evolution, the baker's yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has long proven to be an invaluable model organism for studying human biology. Given its tractability and ease of genetic manipulation, along with extensive genetic conservation with humans, it is perhaps no surprise that researchers have been able to expand its utility by expressing human proteins in yeast, or by humanizing specific yeast amino acids, proteins or even entire pathways. These methods are increasingly being scaled in throughput, further enabling the detailed investigation of human biology and disease-specific variations of human genes in a simplified model organism.
Keywords: evolution; functional genomics; high-throughput assays; humanization; yeast.
© The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press.