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EMBO J. 1997 Dec 15;16(24):7326-41.

Overexpression of Pex15p, a phosphorylated peroxisomal integral membrane protein required for peroxisome assembly in S.cerevisiae, causes proliferation of the endoplasmic reticulum membrane.

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Department of Biology, University of California at San Diego, Bonner Hall, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093-0322, USA.


We have cloned PEX15 which is required for peroxisome biogenesis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. pex15Delta cells are characterized by the cytosolic accumulation of peroxisomal matrix proteins containing a PTS1 or PTS2 import signal, whereas peroxisomal membrane proteins are present in peroxisomal remnants. PEX15 encodes a phosphorylated, integral peroxisomal membrane protein (Pex15p). Using multiple in vivo methods to determine the topology, Pex15p was found to be a tail-anchored type II (Ncyt-Clumen) peroxisomal membrane protein with a single transmembrane domain near its carboxy-terminus. Overexpression of Pex15p resulted in impaired peroxisome assembly, and caused profound proliferation of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane. The lumenal carboxy-terminal tail of Pex15p protrudes into the lumen of these ER membranes, as demonstrated by its O-glycosylation. Accumulation in the ER was also observed at an endogenous expression level when Pex15p was fused to the N-terminus of mature invertase. This resulted in core N-glycosylation of the hybrid protein. The lumenal C-terminal tail of Pex15p is essential for targeting to the peroxisomal membrane. Furthermore, the peroxisomal membrane targeting signal of Pex15p overlaps with an ER targeting signal on this protein. These results indicate that Pex15p may be targeted to peroxisomes via the ER, or to both organelles.

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