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J Histochem Cytochem. 2001 May;49(5):613-22.

The role of 15-lipoxygenase in disruption of the peroxisomal membrane and in programmed degradation of peroxisomes in normal rat liver.

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  • 1Biology Laboratory, Yamanashi Medical University, Yamanashi 409-3898, Japan.


Our earlier electron microscopic observations revealed that prolonged exposure of glutaraldehyde-fixed rat liver sections to buffer solutions induced focal membrane disruptions of peroxisomes with catalase diffusion as shown cytochemically. Recently, it was suggested that 15-lipoxygenase (15-LOX) might be involved in natural degradation of membrane-bound organelles in reticulocytes by integrating into and permeabilizing the organelle membranes, leading to the release of matrix proteins. We have now investigated the localization of 15-LOX and its role in degradation of peroxisomal membranes in rat liver. Aldehyde-fixed liver slices were incubated in a medium that conserved the 15-LOX activity, consisting of 50 mM HEPES-KOH buffer (pH 7.4), 5 mM mercaptoethanol, 1 mM MgCl(2), 15 mM NaN(3), and 0.2 M sucrose, in presence or absence of 0.5-0.05 mM propyl gallate or esculetin, two inhibitors of 15-LOX. The exposure of aldehyde-fixed liver sections to this medium induced focal disruptions of peroxisome membranes and catalase diffusion around some but not all peroxisomes. This was significantly reduced by both 15-LOX inhibitors, propyl gallate and esculetin, with the latter being more effective. Double immunofluorescent staining for 15-LOX and catalase revealed that 15-LOX was co-localized with catalase in some but not all peroxisomes in rat hepatocytes. By postembedding immunoelectron microscopy, gold labeling was localized on membranes of some peroxisomes. These observations suggest that 15-LOX is involved in degradation of peroxisomal membranes and might have a physiological role in programmed degradation and turnover of peroxisomes in hepatocytes. (J Histochem Cytochem 49:613-621, 2001)

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