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Trends Plant Sci. 2001 Apr;6(4):145-50.

Peroxisomes as a source of reactive oxygen species and nitric oxide signal molecules in plant cells.

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Departamento de Bioquímica, Biología Celular y Molecular de Plantas, Estación Experimental del Zaidín, CSIC, Apartado 419, E-18080 Granada, Spain.


The important role of plant peroxisomes in a variety of metabolic reactions such as photorespiration, fatty acid beta-oxidation, the glyoxylate cycle and generation-degradation of hydrogen peroxide is well known. In recent years, the presence of a novel group of enzymes, mainly involved in the metabolism of oxygen free-radicals, has been shown in peroxisomes. In addition to hydrogen peroxide, peroxisomes can generate superoxide-radicals and nitric oxide, which are known cellular messengers with a variety of physiological roles in intra- and inter-cellular communication. Nitric oxide and hydrogen peroxide can permeate the peroxisomal membrane and superoxide radicals can be produced on the cytosolic side of the membrane. The signal molecule-generating capacity of peroxisomes can have important implications for cellular metabolism in plants, particularly under biotic and abiotic stress.

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