Until about 15 years ago, programmed cell death (PCD), at that time mainly defined as apoptosis, was believed to be a feature occurring only in metazoans to ensure proper embryonic development, cell differentiation, and regulation of the immune response. However, the discovery that single-celled organisms, such as yeast, also undergo PCD challenged this idea. Meanwhile, several key regulators and cell death executers were shown to be highly conserved in yeast and other unicellular organisms, and it is now generally accepted that at least part of the molecular cell death machinery originated early in evolution.
Yeast stress, aging, and death / Mazzoni, Cristina; S., Giannattasio; J., Winderickx; P., Ludovico. - In: OXIDATIVE MEDICINE AND CELLULAR LONGEVITY. - ISSN 1942-0994. - (2013). [10.1155/2013/684395]