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We characterize the peroxin PpPex20p from Pichia pastoris and show its requirement for translocation of PTS2 cargoes into peroxisomes. PpPex20p docks at the peroxisomal membrane and translocates into peroxisomes. Its peroxisomal localization requires the docking peroxin Pex14p but not the peroxins Pex2p, Pex10p, and Pex12p, whose absence causes peroxisomal accumulation of Pex20p. Similarities between Pex5p and Pex20p were noted in their protein interactions and dynamics during import, and both contain a conserved NH2-terminal domain. In the absence of the E2-like Pex4p or the AAA proteins Pex1p and Pex6p, Pex20p is degraded via polyubiquitylation of residue K19, and the K19R mutation causes accumulation of Pex20p in peroxisome remnants. Finally, either interference with K48-branched polyubiquitylation or removal of the conserved NH2-terminal domain causes accumulation of Pex20p in peroxisomes, mimicking a defect in its recycling to the cytosol. Our data are consistent with a model in which Pex20p enters peroxisomes and recycles back to the cytosol in an ubiquitin-dependent manner.
Recent data from studies of peroxisome assembly and the subcellular sorting of peroxisomal matrix and membrane proteins have led to an expansion of the 'growth and division' and 'endoplasmic reticulum-vesiculation' models of peroxisome biogenesis into a more flexible, unified model. Within this context, we discuss the proposed role for the endoplasmic reticulum in the formation of preperoxisomes and the potential for 15 Arabidopsis peroxin homologs to function in the biogenesis of peroxisomes in plant cells.
In this study of the type 2 peroxisomal targeting signal (PTS2) pathway, we examined the apparent discontinuity and conservation of residues within the PTS2 nonapeptide and demonstrated that this topogenic signal is capable of directing heteromultimeric protein import in plant cells. Based on cumulative data showing that at least 26 unique, putative PTS2 nonapeptides occur within 12 diverse peroxisomal-destined proteins, the current (-R/K-L/V/I-X5-H/Q-L/A-) as well as the original (-R-L-X5-H/Q-L-) PTS2 motif appear to be oversimplified. To assess the functionality of residues within the motif, rat liver thiolase (rthio) and various chimeric chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) proteins were expressed transiently in suspension-cultured tobacco (Nicotiana tabaccum L.) cv Bright Yellow cells (BY-2), and their subcellular location was determined by immunofluoresence microscopy. Hemagglutinin (HA)-epitope-tagged-CAT subunits, lacking a PTS2 (CAT-HA), were 'piggybacked' into glyoxysomes by PTS2-bearing CAT subunits (rthio-CAT), whereas signal-depleted CAT-HA subunits that were modified to prevent oligomerization did not import into glyoxysomes. These results provided direct evidence that signal-depleted subunits imported into peroxisomes were targeted to the organelle as oligomers (heteromers) by a PTS2. Mutational analysis of residues within PTS2 nonapeptides revealed that a number of amino acid substitutions were capable of maintaining targeting function. Furthermore, functionality of residues within the PTS2 nonapeptide did not appear to require a context-specific environment conferred by adjacent residues. These results collectively suggest that the functional PTS2 is not solely defined as a sequence-specific motif, i.e. -R/K-X6-H/Q-A/L/F-, but defined also by its structural motif that is dependent upon the physiochemical properties of residues within the nonapeptide.