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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2001 Oct 9;98(21):12027-31. Epub 2001 Oct 2.

Inactivation of the endoplasmic reticulum protein translocation factor, Sec61p, or its homolog, Ssh1p, does not affect peroxisome biogenesis.

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Department of Biological Chemistry, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.


Peroxisomes are single membrane-bound organelles present in virtually all eukaryotes. These organelles participate in several important metabolic processes, and defects in peroxisome function and biogenesis are a significant contributor to human disease. Several models propose that peroxisomes arise from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) in a process that involves the translocation of "group I" peroxisomal membrane proteins into the ER, the exit of these group I peroxisomal membrane proteins from the ER by vesicle budding, and the formation of nascent peroxisomes from vesicles containing the group I peroxisomal membrane proteins. A central prediction of these models is that the formation of nascent peroxisomes requires protein translocation into the ER. Sec61p is an essential component of the ER translocon, and we show here that loss of Sec61p activity has no effect on peroxisome biogenesis. In addition, loss of the SEC61-related gene, SSH1, also has no effect on peroxisome biogenesis. Although some proteins may enter the ER independently of Sec61p or Ssh1p, none are known, leading us to propose that peroxisome biogenesis may not require protein import into the ER, and by extension, transfer of proteins from the ER to the peroxisome.

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