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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2006 Dec;1763(12):1478-95. Epub 2006 Aug 26.

Plant peroxisomes as a source of signalling molecules.

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  • 1Centre for Plant Sciences, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK.


Peroxisomes are pleiomorphic, metabolically plastic organelles. Their essentially oxidative function led to the adoption of the name 'peroxisome'. The dynamic and diverse nature of peroxisome metabolism has led to the realisation that peroxisomes are an important source of signalling molecules that can function to integrate cellular activity and multicellular development. In plants defence against predators and a hostile environment is of necessity a metabolic and developmental response--a plant has no place to hide. Mutant screens are implicating peroxisomes in disease resistance and signalling in response to light. Characterisation of mutants disrupted in peroxisomal beta-oxidation has led to a growing appreciation of the importance of this pathway in the production of jasmonic acid, conversion of indole butyric acid to indole acetic acid and possibly in the production of other signalling molecules. Likewise the role of peroxisomes in the production and detoxification of reactive oxygen, and possibly reactive nitrogen species and changes in redox status, suggests considerable scope for peroxisomes to contribute to perception and response to a wide range of biotic and abiotic stresses. Whereas the peroxisome is the sole site of beta-oxidation in plants, the production and detoxification of ROS in many cell compartments makes the specific contribution of the peroxisome much more difficult to establish. However progress in identifying peroxisome specific isoforms of enzymes associated with ROS metabolism should allow a more definitive assessment of these contributions in the future.

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