The goal of this research is to identify and characterize the protein machinery that functions in the intracellular translocation and assembly of peroxisomal proteins in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Several genes encoding proteins that are essential for this process have been identified previously by Kunau and collaborators, but the mutant collection was incomplete. We have devised a positive selection procedure that identifies new mutants lacking peroxisomes or peroxisomal function. Immunofluorescence procedures for yeast were simplified so that these mutants could be rapidly and efficiently screened for those in which peroxisome biogenesis is impaired. With these tools, we have identified four complementation groups of peroxisome biogenesis mutants, and one group that appears to express reduced amounts of peroxisomal proteins. Two of our mutants lack recognizable peroxisomes, although they might contain peroxisomal membrane ghosts like those found in Zellweger syndrome. Two are selectively defective in packaging peroxisomal proteins and moreover show striking intracellular clustering of the peroxisomes. The distribution of mutants among complementation groups implies that the collection of peroxisome biogenesis mutants is still incomplete. With the procedures described, it should prove straightforward to isolate mutants from additional complementation groups.

This content is only available as a PDF.