Metabolic functions of peroxisome

May 24, 2012 | By | Reply More

Metabolic functions of peroxisome

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 peroxisomes.

The first reactions in the formation of plasmalogen in animal cells also occur in peroxisomes. Plasmalogen is the most abundant phospholipid in myelin. Deficiency of plasmalogens causes profound abnormalities in the myelination of nerve cells, which is one reason why many peroxisomal disorders affect the nervous system.However the last enzyme is absent in humans, explaining the disease known as gout, caused by the accumulation of uric acid. Certain enzymes within the peroxisome, by using molecular oxygen, remove hydrogen atoms from specific organic substrates (labeled as R), in an oxidative reaction, producing hydrogen peroxide (H2O2, itself toxic):

peroxidase, another peroxisomal enzyme, uses this H2O2 to oxidize other substrates, including phenols, formic acid, formaldehyde, and alcohol, by means of the peroxidation reaction:

thus eliminating the poisonous hydrogen peroxide in the process.

This reaction is important in liver and kidney cells, where the peroxisomes detoxify various toxic substances that enter the blood. About 25% of the ethanol humans drink is oxidized to acetaldehyde in this way.[citation needed] In addition, when excess H2O2 accumulates in the cell, catalase converts it to H2O through this reaction:

In higher plants, peroxisomes contain also a complex battery of antioxidative enzymes such as superoxide dismutase, the components of the ascorbate-glutathione cycle, and the NADP-dehydrogenases of the pentose-phosphate pathway. It has been demonstrated the generation of superoxide (O2•-) and nitric oxide (NO) radicals.

The peroxisome of plant cells is polarised when fighting fungal penetration. Infection causes a glucosinolate molecule to play an antifungal role to be made and delivered to the outside of the cell through the action of the peroxisomal proteins (PEN2 and PEN3)

Source : wikipedia

Category: Physiology

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