Peroxisomal assembly: Membrane proliferation precedes the induction of the abundant matrix proteins in the methylotrophic yeast Candida boidinii

Marten Veenhuis, Joel M. Goodman

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11 Scopus citations


Peroxisomes are massively induced when methylotrophic yeasts are cultured in medium containing methanol. These organelles contain enzymes that catalyze the initial steps of methanol assimilation. In Candida boidinii, a methylotrophic yeast, the peroxisomal matrix (internal compartment) is composed almost exclusively of two proteins, alcohol oxidase and dihydroxyacetone synthase; catalase is present in much lower abundance. Monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies are available against peroxisomal matrix and membrane proteins. These were utilized to correlate the induction of specific proteins with the morphological changes occurring during peroxisomal proliferation. Cells cultured in glucose-containing medium contain two to five small microbodies, which are identifiable by catalase staining and immunoreactivity with a monoclonal antibody against PMP47, an integral peroxisomal membrane protein. Three stages of proliferation can be distinguished when cells are switched to methanol as the carbon source. (1) There is an early stage (within 1 h) in which several peroxisomes develop from a preexisting organelle. This is accompanied by an increase in catalase activity and an induction of PMP47, but no detectable induction of alcohol oxidase or dihydroxyacetone synthase is observed. (2) From 1 to 2.5 h there is further division of these microbodies until up to 30 small peroxisomes generally are present in each of one or two clusters per cell. Induction of alcohol oxidase, dihydroxyacetone synthase and PMP20, a protein that is distributed in the matrix and membrane, is detectable during this time. Serial sections reveal that some peroxisomes remain uninduced while others undergo proliferation. Such sections also show no obvious connections between peroxisomes within clusters. (3) After 2.5 h there is a decrease in the number of peroxisomes per cell (caused at least in part by the movement of organelles into buds) but an increase in volume per peroxisome, until a steady state is reached by 5-10 h.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)583-590
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of cell science
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1990


  • Candida boidinii
  • methylotrophic yeast
  • peroxisomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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