Peroxisomes as a source of reactive oxygen species and nitric oxide signal molecules in plant cells

Trends Plant Sci. 2001 Apr;6(4):145-50. doi: 10.1016/s1360-1385(01)01898-2.


The important role of plant peroxisomes in a variety of metabolic reactions such as photorespiration, fatty acid beta-oxidation, the glyoxylate cycle and generation-degradation of hydrogen peroxide is well known. In recent years, the presence of a novel group of enzymes, mainly involved in the metabolism of oxygen free-radicals, has been shown in peroxisomes. In addition to hydrogen peroxide, peroxisomes can generate superoxide-radicals and nitric oxide, which are known cellular messengers with a variety of physiological roles in intra- and inter-cellular communication. Nitric oxide and hydrogen peroxide can permeate the peroxisomal membrane and superoxide radicals can be produced on the cytosolic side of the membrane. The signal molecule-generating capacity of peroxisomes can have important implications for cellular metabolism in plants, particularly under biotic and abiotic stress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Membrane / physiology
  • Cell Respiration / physiology
  • Free Radicals / metabolism
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / metabolism
  • NADP / metabolism
  • Nitric Oxide / biosynthesis
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism*
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology*
  • Peroxisomes / metabolism*
  • Plants / metabolism*
  • Plants / ultrastructure
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction*


  • Free Radicals
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Nitric Oxide
  • NADP
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase