Sensitive and real-time determination of H2O2 release from intact peroxisomes

Biochem J. 2002 May 1;363(Pt 3):483-91. doi: 10.1042/0264-6021:3630483.


Peroxisomes are essential and ubiquitous cell organelles having a key role in mammalian lipid and oxygen metabolism. The presence of flavine oxidases makes them an important intracellular source of H(2)O(2): an obligate product of peroxisomal redox reactions and a key reactive oxygen species. Peroxisomes proliferate in response to external signals triggered by peroxisome-proliferator-activated receptor signalling pathways. Peroxisome-derived oxidative stress as a consequence of this proliferation is increasingly recognized to participate in pathologies ranging from carcinogenesis in rodents to alcoholic and non-alcoholic steatosis hepatitis in humans. To date, no sensitive approach exists to record H(2)O(2) turnover of peroxisomes in real time. Here, we introduce a sensitive chemiluminescence method that allows the monitoring of H(2)O(2) generation and degradation in real time in suspensions of intact peroxisomes. Importantly, removal, as well as release of, H(2)O(2) can be assessed at nanomolar, non-toxic concentrations in the same sample. Owing to the kinetic properties of catalase and oxidases, H(2)O(2) forms fast steady-state concentrations in the presence of various peroxisomal substrates. Substrate screening suggests that urate, glycolate and activated fatty acids are the most important sources for H(2)O(2) in rodents. Kinetic studies imply further that peroxisomes contribute significantly to the beta-oxidation of medium-chain fatty acids, in addition to their essential role in the breakdown of long and very long ones. These observations establish a direct quantitative release of H(2)O(2) from intact peroxisomes. The experimental approach offers new possibilities for functionally studying H(2)O(2) metabolism, substrate transport and turnover in peroxisomes of eukaryotic cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Catalase / metabolism
  • Cattle
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism
  • Glucose Oxidase / metabolism
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / metabolism*
  • Kinetics
  • Liver / chemistry
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Oxidoreductases / metabolism
  • Peroxisomes / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Fatty Acids
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Oxidoreductases
  • Glucose Oxidase
  • Catalase