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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2016 May;1863(5):863-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamcr.2015.09.031. Epub 2015 Oct 3.

Towards the molecular mechanism of the integration of peroxisomal membrane proteins.

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EMBL Hamburg, c/o DESY, Building 25A, Notkestraße 85, 22603 Hamburg, Germany.
Institute of Structural Biology, Helmholtz Zentrum München, 85764 Neuherberg, Germany; Center for Integrated Protein Science Munich (CIPSM) at Department of Chemistry, Technische Universität München, Lichtenbergstr. 4, 85747 Garching, Germany.
Interfaculty Institute of Biochemistry, University of Tübingen, Hoppe-Seyler-Str. 4, 72076 Tübingen, Germany.
EMBL Hamburg, c/o DESY, Building 25A, Notkestraße 85, 22603 Hamburg, Germany; University of Hamburg Clinical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Martinistraße 52, 20246 Hamburg, Germany. Electronic address:


The correct topogenesis of peroxisomal membrane proteins is a crucial step for the formation of functioning peroxisomes. Although this process has been widely studied, the exact mechanism with which it occurs has not yet been fully characterized. Nevertheless, it is generally accepted that peroxisomes employ three proteins - Pex3, Pex19 and Pex16 in mammals - for the insertion of peroxisomal membrane proteins into the peroxisomal membrane. Structural biology approaches have been utilized for the elucidation of the mechanistic questions of peroxisome biogenesis, mainly by providing information on the architecture of the proteins significant for this process. This review aims to summarize, compare and put into perspective the structural knowledge that has been generated mainly for Pex3 and Pex19 and their interaction partners in recent years.


Peroxisomal membrane proteins; Peroxisome biogenesis; Pex19; Pex3; Structural biology

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