Peroxisome

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Peroxisomes are organelles found in virtually all eukaryotic cells.[1] They are involved in the catabolism of very long chain fatty acids, branched chain fatty acids, D-amino acids, polyamines, and biosynthesis of plasmalogens, etherphospholipids critical for the normal function of mammalian brains and lungs.[2] They also contain approximately 10% of the total activity of two enzymes in the pentose phosphate pathway, which is important for energy metabolism.[2] It is rigorously debated if peroxisomes are involved in isoprenoid and cholesterol synthesis in animals.[2] Other known peroxisomal functions include the glyoxylate cycle in germinating seeds ("glyoxysomes"), photorespiration in leaves, glycolysis in trypanosomes ("glycosomes"), and methanol and/or amine oxidation and assimilation in some yeasts.

Peroxisomes were identified as organelles by the Belgian cytologist Christian de Duve in 1967[3] after they had been first described in a PhD thesis of Rhodin a decade earlier.[4]

Contents

Metabolic functions

A major function of the peroxisome is the breakdown of very long chain fatty acids through beta-oxidation. In animal cells, the very long fatty acids are converted to medium chain fatty acids, which are subsequently shuttled to mitochondria where they are eventually broken down to carbon dioxide and water. In yeast and plant cells, this process is exclusive for the peroxisome.[5]

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