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J Cell Biol. 1998 Feb 23;140(4):807-20.

A mobile PTS2 receptor for peroxisomal protein import in Pichia pastoris.

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Department of Biology, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093-0322, USA.


Using a new screening procedure for the isolation of peroxisomal import mutants in Pichia pastoris, we have isolated a mutant (pex7) that is specifically disturbed in the peroxisomal import of proteins containing a peroxisomal targeting signal type II (PTS2). Like its Saccharomyces cerevisiae homologue, PpPex7p interacted with the PTS2 in the two-hybrid system, suggesting that Pex7p functions as a receptor. The pex7Delta mutant was not impaired for growth on methanol, indicating that there are no PTS2-containing enzymes involved in peroxisomal methanol metabolism. In contrast, pex7Delta cells failed to grow on oleate, but growth on oleate could be partially restored by expressing thiolase (a PTS2-containing enzyme) fused to the PTS1. Because the subcellular location and mechanism of action of this protein are controversial, we used various methods to demonstrate that Pex7p is both cytosolic and intraperoxisomal. This suggests that Pex7p functions as a mobile receptor, shuttling PTS2-containing proteins from the cytosol to the peroxisomes. In addition, we used PpPex7p as a model protein to understand the effect of the Pex7p mutations found in human patients with rhizomelic chondrodysplasia punctata. The corresponding PpPex7p mutant proteins were stably expressed in P. pastoris, but they failed to complement the pex7Delta mutant and were impaired in binding to the PTS2 sequence.

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