Peroxisomal protein import is conserved between yeast, plants, insects and mammals

EMBO J. 1990 Jan;9(1):85-90. doi: 10.1002/j.1460-2075.1990.tb08083.x.


We have previously demonstrated that firefly luciferase can be imported into peroxisomes of both insect and mammalian cells. To determine whether the process of protein transport into the peroxisome is functionally similar in more widely divergent eukaryotes, the cDNA encoding firefly luciferase was expressed in both yeast and plant cells. Luciferase was translocated into peroxisomes in each type of organism. Experiments were also performed to determine whether a yeast peroxisomal protein could be transported to peroxisomes in mammalian cells. We observed that a C-terminal segment of the yeast (Candida boidinii) peroxisomal protein PMP20 could act as a peroxisomal targeting signal in mammalian cells. These results suggest that at least one mechanism of protein translocation into peroxisomes has been conserved throughout eukaryotic evolution.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Biological Transport
  • Candida / analysis
  • Cell Line
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA / genetics
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics
  • Fungal Proteins / metabolism
  • Gene Expression
  • Haplorhini
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Luciferases / genetics
  • Luciferases / metabolism
  • Microbodies / metabolism*
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Pichia / genetics
  • Pichia / metabolism
  • Plants / genetics
  • Plants / metabolism*
  • Plasmids
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism
  • Transfection
  • Yeasts / metabolism*


  • Fungal Proteins
  • Proteins
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • DNA
  • Luciferases