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J Cell Sci. 2011 May 15;124(Pt 10):1759-68. doi: 10.1242/jcs.079368. Epub 2011 Apr 26.

PEX14 is required for microtubule-based peroxisome motility in human cells.

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Institute for Physiological Chemistry, Department of Systems Biology, Faculty of Medicine, Ruhr University of Bochum, 44780 Bochum, Germany.


We have established a procedure for isolating native peroxisomal membrane protein complexes from cultured human cells. Protein-A-tagged peroxin 14 (PEX14), a central component of the peroxisomal protein translocation machinery was genomically expressed in Flp-In-293 cells and purified from digitonin-solubilized membranes. Size-exclusion chromatography revealed the existence of distinct multimeric PEX14 assemblies at the peroxisomal membrane. Using mass spectrometric analysis, almost all known human peroxins involved in protein import were identified as constituents of the PEX14 complexes. Unexpectedly, tubulin was discovered to be the major PEX14-associated protein, and direct binding of the proteins was demonstrated. Accordingly, peroxisomal remnants in PEX14-deficient cells have lost their ability to move along microtubules. In vivo and in vitro analyses indicate that the physical binding to tubulin is mediated by the conserved N-terminal domain of PEX14. Thus, human PEX14 is a multi-tasking protein that not only facilitates peroxisomal protein import but is also required for peroxisome motility by serving as membrane anchor for microtubules.

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