The peroxisome biogenesis disorders (PBDs), including Zellweger syndrome (ZS), neonatal adrenoleukodystrophy (NALD) and infantile Refsum disease (IRD), are autosomal recessive diseases caused by deficiency of peroxisome assembly as well as malfunction of peroxisomes, where >10 genotypes have been reported. ZS patients manifest the most severe clinical and biochemical abnormalities, while those with NALD and IRD show the least severity and the mildest features, respectively. PEX1 is the causative gene for PBDs of complementation group I (CG1), the highest incidence PBD, and encodes the peroxin, Pex1p, a member of the AAA ATPase family. In the present work, we found that peroxisomes were morphologically and biochemically formed at 30 but not 37 degrees C, in the fibroblasts from all CG1 IRD patients examined, whereas almost no peroxisomes were seen in ZS and NALD cells, even at 30 degrees C. A point missense mutation, G843D, was identified in the PEX1 allele of most CG1 IRD patients. The mutant PEX1, termed HsPEX1G843D, gave rise to the same temperature-sensitive phenotype on CG1 CHO cell mutants upon transfection. Collectively, these results demonstrate temperature-sensitive peroxisome assembly to be responsible for the mildness of the clinical features of PEX1 -defective IRD of CG1.