As a model organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae has greatly contributed to our understanding of many fundamental aspects of cellular biology in higher eukaryotes. More recently, engineered yeast models developed to study endogenous or heterologous proteins that lay at the root of a given disease have become powerful tools for unraveling the molecular basis of complex human diseases like neurodegeneration. Additionally, with the possibility of performing target-directed large-scale screenings, yeast models have emerged as promising first-line approaches in the discovery process of novel therapeutic opportunities against these pathologies. In this paper, several yeast models that have contributed to the uncovering of the etiology and pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative diseases are described, including the most common forms of neurodegeneration worldwide, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's diseases. Moreover, the potential input of these cell systems in the development of more effective therapies in neurodegeneration, through the identification of genetic and chemical suppressors, is also addressed.
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