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Traffic. 2007 Jun;8(6):687-701. Epub 2007 Apr 25.

The peroxin PEX14 of Neurospora crassa is essential for the biogenesis of both glyoxysomes and Woronin bodies.

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Institut für Physiologische Chemie, Abt. Systembiochemie, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 44780 Bochum, Germany.


In the filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa, glyoxysomes and Woronin bodies coexist in the same cell. Because several glyoxysomal matrix proteins and also HEX1, the dominant protein of Woronin bodies, possess typical peroxisomal targeting signals, the question arises as to how protein targeting to these distinct yet related types of microbodies is achieved. Here we analyzed the function of the Neurospora ortholog of PEX14, an essential component of the peroxisomal import machinery. PEX14 interacted with both targeting signal receptors and was localized to glyoxysomes but was virtually absent from Woronin bodies. Nonetheless, a pex14Delta mutant not only failed to grow on fatty acids because of a defect in glyoxysomal beta-oxidation but also suffered from cytoplasmic bleeding, indicative of a defect in Woronin body-dependent septal pore plugging. Inspection of pex14Delta mutant hyphae by fluorescence and electron microscopy indeed revealed the absence of Woronin bodies. When these cells were subjected to subcellular fractionation, HEX1 was completely mislocalized to the cytosol. Expression of GFP-HEX1 in wild-type mycelia caused the staining of Woronin bodies and also of glyoxysomes in a targeting signal-dependent manner. Our data support the view that Woronin bodies emerge from glyoxysomes through import of HEX1 and subsequent fission.

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