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Mol Biol Cell. 2002 Feb;13(2):711-22.

Peroxisomes are formed from complex membrane structures in PEX6-deficient CHO cells upon genetic complementation.

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Department of Life Science, Faculty of Science, Himeji Institute of Technology, Kamigori, Hyogo 678-1297, Japan.


Pex6p belongs to the AAA family of ATPases. Its CHO mutant, ZP92, lacks normal peroxisomes but contains peroxisomal membrane remnants, so called peroxisomal ghosts, which are detected with anti-70-kDa peroxisomal membrane protein (PMP70) antibody. No peroxisomal matrix proteins were detected inside the ghosts, but exogenously expressed green fluorescent protein (GFP) fused to peroxisome targeting signal-1 (PTS-1) accumulated in the areas adjacent to the ghosts. Electron microscopic examination revealed that PMP70-positive ghosts in ZP92 were complex membrane structures, rather than peroxisomes with reduced matrix protein import ability. In a typical case, a set of one central spherical body and two layers of double-membraned loops were observed, with endoplasmic reticulum present alongside the outer loop. In the early stage of complementation by PEX6 cDNA, catalase and acyl-CoA oxidase accumulated in the lumen of the double-membraned loops. Biochemical analysis revealed that almost all the peroxisomal ghosts were converted into peroxisomes upon complementation. Our results indicate that 1) Peroxisomal ghosts are complex membrane structures; and 2) The complex membrane structures become import competent and are converted into peroxisomes upon complementation with PEX6.

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