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Cell Death Differ. 2017 Jul;24(7):1148-1152. doi: 10.1038/cdd.2017.23. Epub 2017 Apr 14.

The making of a mammalian peroxisome, version 2.0: mitochondria get into the mix.

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Department of Biosciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK.
Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology, Medical Biochemistry and Pathology, Universitè Laval, Quebec, QC, Canada.


A recent report from the Laboratory of Heidi McBride (McGill University) presents a role for mitochondria in the de novo biogenesis of peroxisomes in mammalian cells. Peroxisomes are essential organelles responsible for a wide variety of biochemical functions, from the generation of bile to plasmalogen synthesis, reduction of peroxides, and the oxidation of very-long-chain fatty acids. Like mitochondria, peroxisomes proliferate primarily through growth and division of pre-existing peroxisomes. However, unlike mitochondria, peroxisomes do not fuse; further, and perhaps most importantly, they can also be born de novo, a process thought to occur through the generation of pre-peroxisomal vesicles that originate from the endoplasmic reticulum. De novo peroxisome biogenesis has been extensively studied in yeast, with a major focus on the role of the ER in this process; however, in the mammalian system this field is much less explored. By exploiting patient cells lacking mature peroxisomes, the McBride laboratory now assigns a role to ER and mitochondria in de novo mammalian peroxisome biogenesis by showing that the formation of immature pre-peroxisomes occurs through the fusion of Pex3-/Pex14-containing mitochondria-derived vesicles with Pex16-containing ER-derived vesicles.

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