Send to

Choose Destination
Mol Biol Evol. 2006 Apr;23(4):838-45. Epub 2006 Feb 1.

The evolutionary origin of peroxisomes: an ER-peroxisome connection.

Author information

Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique/Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale/Université Louis Pasteur/Collège de France, Illkirch, France.


The peroxisome is an essential eukaryotic organelle, crucial for lipid metabolism and free radical detoxification, development, differentiation, and morphogenesis from yeasts to humans. Loss of peroxisomes invariably leads to fatal peroxisome biogenesis disorders in man. The evolutionary origin of peroxisomes remains unsolved; proposals for either a symbiogenetic or cellular membrane invagination event are unconclusive. To address this question, we have probed with a peroxisomal proteome, an "ensemble" of 19 representative eukaryotic complete genomes. Molecular phylogenetic and sequence comparison tools allowed us to identify four proteins as peroxisomal markers for unequivocal in silico peroxisome detection. We have then detected the Apicomplexa phylum as the first group of organisms devoid of peroxisomes, in the presence of mitochondria. Finally, we deliver evidence against a prokaryotic ancestor of peroxisomes: (1) the peroxisomal membrane is composed of purely eukaryotic bricks and is thus useful to trace the eukaryotes in their evolutionary paths and (2) the peroxisomal matrix protein import system shares mechanistic similarities with the endoplasmic reticulum/proteasome degradation process, indicating a common evolutionary history.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center