Targeting sequences on peroxisomal membrane proteins have not yet been identified. We have attempted to find such a sequence within PMP47, a protein of the methylotrophic yeast, Candida boidinii. This protein of 423 amino acids shows sequence similarity with proteins in the family of mitochondrial carrier proteins. As such, it is predicted to have six membrane-spanning domains. Protease susceptibility experiments are consistent with a six-membrane-spanning model for PMP47, although the topology for the peroxisomal protein is inverted compared with the mitochondrial carrier proteins. PMP47 contains two potential peroxisomal targeting sequences (PTS1), an internal SKL (residues 320-322) and a carboxy terminal AKE (residues 421-423). Using a heterologous in vivo sorting system, we show that efficient sorting occurs in the absence of both sequences. Analysis of PMP47-dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) fusion proteins revealed that amino acids 1-199 of PMP47, which contain the first three putative membrane spans, do not contain the necessary targeting information, whereas a fusion with amino acids 1-267, which contains five spans, is fully competent for sorting to peroxisomes. Similarly, a DHFR fusion construct containing residues 268-423 did not target to peroxisomes while residues 203-420 appeared to sort to that organelle, albeit at lower efficiency than the 1-267 construct. However, DHFR constructs containing only amino acids 185-267 or 203-267 of PMP47 were not found to be associated with peroxisomes. We conclude that amino acids 199-267 are necessary for peroxisomal targeting, although additional sequences may be required for efficient sorting to, or retention by, the organelles.

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