University of Oulu

Solute traffic across the mammalian peroxisomal membrane—the role of Pxmp2

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Author: Rokka, Aare1,2
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Science, Department of Biochemistry
2University of Oulu, Biocenter Oulu
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 9.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: 2008
Publish Date: 2008-12-02
Thesis type: Doctoral Dissertation
Defence Note: Academic dissertation to be presented, with the assent of the Faculty of Science of the University of Oulu, for public defence in Raahensali (Auditorium L10), Linnanmaa, on December 12th, 2008, at 12 noon
Reviewer: Doctor Cécile Brocard
Doctor Tiina Kotti


Peroxisomes are small oxidative organelles found in all eukaryotes. They contain a matrix which is surrounded by a single membrane and consists mainly of soluble proteins. Peroxisomal enzymes are involved in a broad spectrum of metabolic pathways including conversion of lipids, amino- and hydroxyacids, purines and reactive oxygen species. The carbon fluxes through peroxisomal pathways require a continuous metabolite crossing of the peroxisomal membrane. A long-standing and still unresolved problem of the physiology of mammalian peroxisomes is the role of the membrane of these organelles as a permeability barrier to solute molecules.

In this study, we have shown that the peroxisomal membrane represents a type of biomembrane where channel-forming proteins coexist with solute transporters. Disruption of the mouse Pxmp2 gene, encoding the peroxisomal integral membrane protein Pxmp2 also known as PMP22, leads to partial restriction of peroxisomal membrane permeability to solutes in vitro and in vivo. Multiple-channel recording of liver peroxisomal preparations revealed that the channel-forming components with a conductance of 1.3 nS in 1.0 M KCl were lost in Pxmp2-/- mice. The channel-forming properties of Pxmp2 were confirmed with recombinant protein expressed in insect cells and with native Pxmp2 purified from mouse liver. The Pxmp2 channel, with an estimated diameter of 1.4 nm, shows weak cation selectivity and no voltage dependence. The long-lasting open states of the channel indicate its functional role as a protein forming a general diffusion pore in the membrane. Hence, Pxmp2 is the first peroxisomal pore-forming protein identified, and its existence suggests that the mammalian peroxisomal membrane is permeable to small solutes, while transfer of bulky metabolites, e.g., cofactors (NAD/H, NADP/H, and CoA) and ATP, requires specific transporters.

In addition, the phenotypic characterisation of Pxmp2-/- mice has revealed a role for Pxmp2 during the development of the epithelia in the mammary glands of female mice. The disruption of Pxmp2 leads to the impairment of ductal outgrowth of mammary glands at puberty, which is followed by the inability of Pxmp2-/- mice to nurse their offspring.

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Series: Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. A, Scientiae rerum naturalium
ISSN-E: 1796-220X
ISBN: 978-951-42-8972-9
ISBN Print: 978-951-42-8971-2
Issue: 517
Copyright information: © University of Oulu, 2008. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.