Peroxisomes participate in lipid metabolism, and are a major source of ROS in the cell. Their importance in cellular energy balance and redox homeostasis is well-established, as is the need to maintain peroxisome homeostasis to prevent pathologies associated with too few, or too many, of these organelles. How cells regulate peroxisome number has remained somewhat elusive. Recently, the tumor suppressors ATM and TSC, which regulate mTORC1 signaling, have been localized to peroxisomes. When activated by peroxisomal ROS, ATM signals to TSC to repress mTORC1 signaling and increase autophagic flux in cells, and also phosphorylates the peroxisomal protein PEX 5 to target peroxisomes for selective autophagy (pexophagy), providing a mechanism for regulation of peroxisomal homeostasis using ROS as a rheostat.
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