The essential role of peroxisomes in fatty acid oxidation, anaplerotic metabolism, and hydrogen peroxide turnover is well established. Recent findings suggest that these and other related biochemical processes governed by the organelle may also play a critical role in regulating cellular aging. The goal of this review is to summarize and integrate into a model the evidence that peroxisome metabolism actually helps define the replicative and chronological age of a eukaryotic cell. In this model, peroxisomal reactive oxygen species (ROS) are seen as altering organelle biogenesis and function, and eliciting changes in the dynamic communication networks that exist between peroxisomes and other cellular compartments. At low levels, peroxisomal ROS activate an anti-aging program in the cell; at concentrations beyond a specific threshold, a pro-aging course is triggered.
© 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S.