We have developed a positive selection system for the isolation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae mutants with disturbed peroxisomal functions. The selection is based on the lethality of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) that is produced in wild type cells during the peroxisomal beta-oxidation of fatty acids. In total, 17 mutants having a general impairment of peroxisome biogenesis were isolated, as revealed by their inability to grow on oleic acid as the sole carbon source and their aberrant cell fractionation pattern of peroxisomal enzymes. The mutants were shown to have monogenetic defects and to fall into 12 complementation groups. Representative members of each complementation group were morphologically examined by immunocytochemistry using EM. In one mutant the induction and morphology of peroxisomes is normal but import of thiolase is abrogated, while in another the morphology differs from the wild type: stacked peroxisomal membranes are present that are able to import thiolase but not catalase. These mutants suggest the existence of multiple components involved in peroxisomal protein import. Some mutants show the phenotype characteristic of glucose-repressed cells, an indication for the interruption of a signal transduction pathway resulting in organelle proliferation. In the remaining mutants morphologically detectable peroxisomes are absent: this phenotype is also known from fibroblasts of patients suffering from Zellweger syndrome, a disorder resulting from impairment of peroxisomes.

This content is only available as a PDF.