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Annu Rev Biochem. 2013;82:723-44. doi: 10.1146/annurev-biochem-081111-125123. Epub 2013 Feb 14.

Peroxisome formation and maintenance are dependent on the endoplasmic reticulum.

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Section of Cellular Protein Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Utrecht University, NL-3584 CH Utrecht, the Netherlands.


Looks can be deceiving. Although peroxisomes appear to be simple organelles, their formation and maintenance pose unique challenges for the cell. The birth of new peroxisomes starts at the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), which delivers lipids and membrane proteins. To form a new peroxisomal compartment, ER-derived preperoxisomal vesicles carrying different membrane proteins fuse, allowing the assembly of the peroxisomal translocon. To complete formation, peroxisomes import their soluble proteins directly from the cytosol using the newly assembled translocon. Together with the ER-derived biogenic route, peroxisomal fission and segregation subsequently maintain the cellular peroxisome population. In this review we highlight the latest insights on the life cycle of peroxisomes and show how the new cell biology concept of peroxisome formation affects our thinking about peroxisome-related diseases and their evolutionary past. The future challenge lies in the identification of all the proteins involved in this elaborate biogenic process and the dissection of their mechanism of action.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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