||Damaging environment, certain intracellular defects or heterologous expression of pro-apoptotic genes induce death in yeast cells exhibiting typical markers of apoptosis. In mammals, apoptosis can be directed by the activation of groups of proteases, called caspases, that cleave specific substrates and trigger cell death. In addition, in plants, fungi, Dictyostelium and metazoa, paracaspases and metacaspases have been identified that share some homologies with caspases but showing different substrate specificity. In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a gene (MCA1/YCA1) has been identified coding for a metacaspase involved in the induction of cell death. Metacaspases are not biochemical, but sequence and functional homologes of caspases, as deletion of them rescues entirely different death scenarios. In this review we will summarize the current knowledge in S. cerevisiae on apoptotic processes, induced by internal and external triggers, which are dependent on the metacaspase gene YCA1.