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Eukaryot Cell. 2002 Dec;1(6):978-86.

Loss of compartmentalization causes misregulation of lysine biosynthesis in peroxisome-deficient yeast cells.

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Department of Biology, San Diego State University, San Diego, California 92182, USA.


To characterize the metabolic role of peroxisomes in yeast cells under physiological conditions, we performed a comprehensive meta-analysis of published microarray data. Previous studies of yeast peroxisomes have mainly been focused on the function of peroxisomes under extreme conditions, such as growth on oleate or methanol as the sole carbon source, and may therefore not be representative of the normal physiological role of yeast peroxisomes. Surprisingly, our analysis of the microarray data reveals that the only pathway responding to peroxisome deficiency in mid-log phase is lysine biosynthesis, whereas classical peroxisomal pathways such as beta-oxidation are unaffected. We show that the upregulation of lysine biosynthesis genes in peroxisome-deficient yeasts shares many characteristics with the physiological response to lysine starvation. We provide data that suggest that this is the result of a "pathological" stimulation of the Lys14p transcriptional activator by the pathway intermediate aminoadipate semialdehyde. Mistargeting of the peroxisomal lysine pathway to the cytosol increases the active concentration of aminoadipate semialdehyde, which is no longer contained in the peroxisome and can now activate Lys14p at much lower levels than in wild-type yeasts. This is the first well-documented example of pathway misregulation in response to peroxisome deficiency and will be useful in understanding the phenotypic details of human peroxisome-deficient patients (Zellweger syndrome).

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