Do Cells Think? Information Processing in Yeast

Do Cells Think?
Reported by
Lynne Lederman

Posted May 31, 2007


On March 21, 2007, Jim Broach of the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics at Princeton University presented his laboratory's approach to investigating how the budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae perceives, integrates, and responds to information about its environment to the New York Academy of Sciences' Microbiology Section. He calls their work microbial neurobiology, which analyzes how cells take information from outside and deal with it in a coherent and appropriate manner. Broach contends that S. cerevisiae, like most organisms, spends a lot of time worrying about two things: food and sex, and he explores the mechanisms by which it obtains both.

Use the tabs above to see the meeting report and multimedia presentation.

Web Sites

Saccharomyces Genome Database
SGD is an organized collection of genetic and molecular biological information about Saccharomyces cerevisiae. It contains the sequences of yeast genes and proteins; descriptions and classifications of their biological roles, molecular functions, and subcellular localizations; links to literature information; links to functional genomics datasets; and tools for analysis and comparison of sequences.

Yeast Resource Center
The National Center for Research Resources' Yeast Resource Center is located at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. The mission of the center is to facilitate the identification and characterization of protein complexes in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. They provide expertise and access to five advanced technologies: mass spectrometry, yeast two-hybrid arrays, deconvolution fluorescence microscopy, protein structure prediction, and computational biology.


Ault AD, Broach JR. 2006. Creation of GPCR based chemical sensors by directed evolution in yeast. Protein Eng. Des. Sel. 19: 1-8. FULL TEXT

Düvel K, Broach JR. 2003. The role of phosphatases in TOR signaling in yeast. Curr. Topics Micro. Imm. 279: 19-38.

Düvel K, Santhanam A, Garrett S, et al. 2003. Multiple roles of Tap42 in mediating rapamycin-induced transcriptional changes in yeast. Mol. Cell 11: 1467-1478. FULL TEXT

Jiang Y, Broach JR. 1999. TOR proteins and protein phosphatase 2A reciprocally regulate Tap42 in controlling cell growth in yeast. EMBO J. 18: 2782-2792. FULL TEXT

Jiang Y, Davis C, Broach JR. 1998. Efficient transition to growth on fermentable carbon sources in Saccharomyces cerevisiae requires signaling through the Ras pathway. EMBO J. 17: 6942-6951.

Johnston SD, Enomoto S, Schneper L, et al. 2001. CAC3 (MSI1) suppression of RAS2G19V is independent of Chromatin Assembly Factor I and mediated by NPR1. Mol. Cell. Biol. 21: 1784-1794. FULL TEXT

Jorgensen P, Rupes I, Sharom JR, et al. 2004. A dynamic transcriptional network communicates growth potential to ribosome synthesis and critical cell size. Genes Devel. 18: 2491-2505. FULL TEXT

Lin X, Floudas C, Wang Y, Broach JR. 2003. Theoretical and computational studies of glucose signaling pathways in yeast using global gene expression data. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 84: 864-86.

Nielsen KH, Gredsted L, Broach JR, Willumsen BM. 2000. Sensitivity of wild type and mutant Ras alleles to ras specific exchange factors: Identification of factor specific requirements. Oncogene 20: 2091-2100. FULL TEXT

Santhanam A, Hartley A, Düvel K, et al. 2004. PP2A phosphatase is required for stress and TOR kinase regulation of yeast stress response factor Msn2. Eukaryot. Cell 3: 1261-71. FULL TEXT

Schneper L, Düvel K, Broach JR. 2004. Sense and sensibility: nutritional response and signal integration in yeast. Curr. Opin. Microbiol. 7: 624-630.

Schneper L, Krauss A, Miyamoto R, et al. 2004. The Ras/Protein kinase A pathway acts in parallel with the Mob2/Cbk1 pathway to effect cell growth and proper bipolar bud site selection. Eukaryot. Cell 3: 108-120. FULL TEXT

Wang Y, Pierce M, Schneper L, et al. 2003. Ras and Gpa2 mediate the primary branch of a redundant glucose signal pathway in yeast. PLOS 2: 610-622. FULL TEXT

Xu EY, Zawadzki KA, Broach, JR. 2006. Single cell observations reveal intermediate transcriptional silencing states. Mol. Cell 23: 219-229.

Yu Q, Qiu R, Foland TB, et al. 2003. Rap1p and other transcriptional regulators can function in defining distinct domains of gene expression. Nucleic Acids Res. 31: 1224-1233. FULL TEXT


James R. Broach, PhD

Princeton University
e-mail | web site | publications

James Broach is associate director of the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics and professor in the Department of Molecular Biology at Princeton University. He received his PhD in biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, where he also completed a postdoctoral fellowship in medical physics. After a postdoctoral fellowship at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, he was employed there as a staff scientist. Subsequently, he joined the State University of New York at Stony Brook as an assistant/associate professor, a position he held just prior to serving in his current position at Princeton University. He is also a cofounder/director of research for Cadus Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology firm with drug discovery programs that focus on G protein-coupled receptors and utilizes a core yeast technology for developing drug discovery assays.

Lynne Lederman

Lynne Lederman, PhD, is a medical and science writer. Her column, "Tech News," appears monthly in BioTechniques.