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Bioessays. 1997 Apr;19(4):317-26.

Variable peroxisomal and mitochondrial targeting of alanine: glyoxylate aminotransferase in mammalian evolution and disease.

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MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology, University College London, UK.


Under the putative influence of dietary selection pressure, the subcellular distribution of alanine:glyoxylate aminotransferase 1 (AGT) has changed on many occasions during the evolution of mammals. Depending on the particular species, AGT can be found either in peroxisomes or mitochondria, or in both peroxisomes and mitochondria. This variable localization depends on the differential expression of N-terminal mitochondrial and C-terminal peroxisomal targeting sequences by the use of alternative transcription and translation initiation sites. AGT is peroxisomal in most humans, but it is mistargeted to the mitochondria in a subset of patients suffering from the rare hereditary disease primary hyperoxaluria type 1. Mistargeting is due to the unlikely combination of a normally occurring polymorphism that generates a functionally weak mitochondrial targeting sequence and a disease-specific mutation which, in combination with the polymorphism, inhibits AGT dimerization. The mechanisms by which AGT can be targeted differentially to peroxisomes and/or mitochondria highlight the different molecular requirements for protein import into these two organelles.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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