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J Cell Mol Med. 2003 Oct-Dec;7(4):388-400.

Peroxisome biogenesis and the role of protein import.

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Centre for Plant Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom.


Peroxisomes are metabolic organelles with enzymatic content that are found in virtually all cells and are involved in beta-oxidation of fatty acids, hydrogen peroxide-based respiration and defence against oxidative stress. The steps of their biogenesis involves "peroxins", proteins encoded by PEX genes. Peroxins are involved in three key stages of peroxisome development: (1). import of peroxisomal membrane proteins; (2). import of peroxisomal matrix proteins and (3). peroxisome proliferation. Of these three areas, peroxisomal matrix-protein import is by far the best understood and accounts for most of the available published data on peroxisome biogenesis. Defects in peroxisome biogenesis result in peroxisome biogenesis disorders (PBDs), which although rare, have no known cure to-date. This review explores current understanding of each key area in peroxisome biogenesis, paying particular attention to the role of protein import.

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