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FEBS J. 2005 May;272(10):2362-72.

Biogenesis of peroxisomes. Topogenesis of the peroxisomal membrane and matrix proteins.

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Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Institut für Physiologische Chemie, Bochum, Germany.


Genetic and proteomic approaches have led to the identification of 32 proteins, collectively called peroxins, which are required for the biogenesis of peroxisomes. Some are responsible for the division and inheritance of peroxisomes; however, most peroxins have been implicated in the topogenesis of peroxisomal proteins. Peroxisomal membrane and matrix proteins are synthesized on free ribosomes in the cytosol and are imported post-translationally into pre-existing organelles (Lazarow PB & Fujiki Y (1985) Annu Rev Cell Biol1, 489-530). Progress has been made in the elucidation of how these proteins are targeted to the organelle. In addition, the understanding of the composition of the peroxisomal import apparatus and the order of events taking place during the cascade of peroxisomal protein import has increased significantly. However, our knowledge on the basic principles of peroxisomal membrane protein insertion or translocation of peroxisomal matrix proteins across the peroxisomal membrane is rather limited. The latter is of particular interest as the peroxisomal import machinery accommodates folded, even oligomeric, proteins, which distinguishes this apparatus from the well characterized translocons of other organelles. Furthermore, the origin of the peroxisomal membrane is still enigmatic. Recent observations suggest the existence of two classes of peroxisomal membrane proteins. Newly synthesized class I proteins are directly targeted to and inserted into the peroxisomal membrane, while class II proteins reach their final destination via the endoplasmic reticulum or a subcompartment thereof, which would be in accord with the idea that the peroxisomal membrane might be derived from the endoplasmic reticulum.

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