Lipid metabolism in peroxisomes in relation to human disease

Mol Aspects Med. 1998 Apr;19(2):69-154. doi: 10.1016/s0098-2997(98)00003-x.


Peroxisomes were long believed to play only a minor role in cellular metabolism but it is now clear that they catalyze a number of important functions. The importance of peroxisomes in humans is stressed by the existence of a group of genetic diseases in man in which one or more peroxisomal functions are impaired. Most of the functions known to take place in peroxisomes have to do with lipids. Indeed, peroxisomes are capable of 1. fatty acid beta-oxidation 2. fatty acid alpha-oxidation 3. synthesis of cholesterol and other isoprenoids 4. ether-phospholipid synthesis and 5. biosynthesis of polyunsaturated fatty acids. In Chapters 2-6 we will discuss the functional organization and enzymology of these pathways in detail. Furthermore, attention is paid to the permeability properties of peroxisomes with special emphasis on recent studies which suggest that peroxisomes are closed structures containing specific membrane proteins for transport of metabolites. Finally, the disorders of peroxisomal lipid metabolism will be discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bile Acids and Salts / biosynthesis
  • Cholesterol / biosynthesis
  • Disease / etiology*
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / biosynthesis
  • Humans
  • Lipid Metabolism*
  • Male
  • Microbodies / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Phospholipids / biosynthesis


  • Bile Acids and Salts
  • Fatty Acids
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated
  • Phospholipids
  • Cholesterol