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We have analyzed the role of the three members of the Pex11 protein family in peroxisome formation in the filamentous fungus Penicillium chrysogenum. Two of these, Pex11 and Pex11C, are components of the peroxisomal membrane, while Pex11B is present at the endoplasmic reticulum. We show that Pex11 is a major factor involved in peroxisome proliferation. We also demonstrate that P. chrysogenum cells deleted for known peroxisome fission factors (all Pex11 family proteins and Vps1) still contain peroxisomes. Interestingly, we find that, unlike in mammals, Pex16 is not essential for peroxisome biogenesis in P. chrysogenum, as partially functional peroxisomes are present in a pex16 deletion strain. We also show that Pex16 is not involved in de novo biogenesis of peroxisomes, as peroxisomes were still present in quadruple Δpex11 Δpex11B Δpex11C Δpex16 mutant cells. By contrast, pex3 deletion in P. chrysogenum led to cells devoid of peroxisomes, suggesting that Pex3 may function independently of Pex16. Finally, we demonstrate that the presence of intact peroxisomes is important for the efficiency of ß-lactam antibiotics production by P. chrysogenum. Remarkably, distinct from earlier results with low penicillin producing laboratory strains, upregulation of peroxisome numbers in a high producing P. chrysogenum strain had no significant effect on penicillin production.


Łukasz Opaliński, Magdalena Bartoszewska, Susan Fekken, Haiyin Liu, Rinse de Boer, Ida van der Klei, Marten Veenhuis, Jan A K W Kiel. De novo peroxisome biogenesis in Penicillium chrysogenum is not dependent on the Pex11 family members or Pex16. PloS one. 2012;7(4):e35490

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PMID: 22536392

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