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J Biol Chem. 2005 Jan 21;280(3):1921-30. Epub 2004 Nov 9.

Ubiquitination of the peroxisomal targeting signal type 1 receptor, Pex5p, suggests the presence of a quality control mechanism during peroxisomal matrix protein import.

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Abteilung für Zellbiochemie, Medizinische Fakultät der Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany.


PEX genes encode proteins (peroxins) that are required for the biogenesis of peroxisomes. One of these peroxins, Pex5p, is the receptor for matrix proteins with a type 1 peroxisomal targeting signal (PTS1), which shuttles newly synthesized proteins from the cytosol into the peroxisome matrix. We observed that in various Saccharomyces cerevisiae pex mutants disturbed in the early stages of PTS1 import, the steady-state levels of Pex5p are enhanced relative to wild type controls. Furthermore, we identified ubiquitinated forms of Pex5p in deletion mutants of those PEX genes that have been implicated in recycling of Pex5p from the peroxisomal membrane into the cytosol. Pex5p ubiquitination required the presence of the ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme Ubc4p and the peroxins that are required during early stages of PTS1 protein import. Finally, we provide evidence that the proteasome is involved in the turnover of Pex5p in wild type yeast cells, a process that requires Ubc4p and occurs at the peroxisomal membrane. Our data suggest that during receptor recycling a portion of Pex5p becomes ubiquitinated and degraded by the proteasome. We propose that this process represents a conserved quality control mechanism in peroxisome biogenesis.

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