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Eur J Cell Biol. 2003 Apr;82(4):155-62.

The peroxisomal membrane targeting elements of human peroxin 2 (PEX2).

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany.


Peroxin 2 (PEX2) is a 35-kDa integral peroxisomal membrane protein with two transmembrane regions and a zinc RING domain within its cytoplasmically exposed C-terminus. Although its role in peroxisome biogenesis and function is poorly understood, it seems to be involved in peroxisomal matrix protein import. PEX2 is synthesized on free cytosolic ribosomes and is posttranslationally imported into the peroxisome membrane by specific targeting information. While a clear picture of the basic targeting mechanisms for peroxisomal matrix proteins has emerged over the past years, the targeting processes for peroxisomal membrane proteins are less well understood. We expressed various deletion constructs of PEX2 in fusion with the green fluorescent protein in COS-7 cells and determined their intracellular localization. We found that the minimum peroxisomal targeting signal of human PEX2 consists of an internal protein region of 30 amino acids (AA130 to AA159) and the first transmembrane domain, and that adding the second transmembrane domain increases targeting efficiency. Within the minimum targeting region we identified the motif "KX6(I/L)X(L/F/I)LK(L/F/I)" that includes important targeting information and is also present in the targeting regions of the 22-kDa peroxisomal membrane protein (PMP22) and the 70-kDa peroxisomal membrane protein (PMP70). Mutations in this targeting motif mislocalize PEX2 to the cytosol. In contrast, the second transmembrane domain does not seem to have specific peroxisomal membrane targeting information. Replacing the second transmembrane domain of human PEX2 with the transmembrane domain of human cytochrome c oxidase subunit IV does not alter PEX2 peroxisome targeting function and efficiency.

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