The Function of the Peroxisome

  • Masashi MoritaEmail author
  • Tsuneo ImanakaEmail author


Peroxisomes are organelles that are essential for maintaining cellular function in lipid metabolism, redox homeostasis and intracellular signalling. They are involved in the β-oxidation of various fatty acids, especially very long chain fatty acids, as well as the synthesis of ether-phospholipids and bile acids in mammals. Substrates for the β-oxidation are transported into peroxisomes by the ABC transporters ABCD1–3, and the metabolites produced by the β-oxidation cycle are released from peroxisomes through certain unique transporters and channels on the peroxisomal membrane. The initial steps of ether-phospholipid synthesis take place in peroxisomes, with one of steps being tightly controlled by negative feedback regulation. As peroxisomes have various enzymes that generate reactive oxygen species such as H2O2, their metabolic activity significantly impacts cellular redox balance, which is closely connected to the redox homeostasis in mitochondria. It has been shown that the physical contact sites between peroxisomes and lysosomes, the ER, mitochondria or lipid droplets are formed by tethered proteins and play an important role in the transporting or shuttling of metabolites between peroxisomes and other organelles. Furthermore, peroxisomes tightly collaborate with mitochondria in the antiviral defence system. In this chapter, we describe the current understanding of the peroxisomal metabolic pathways including lipid metabolism and redox metabolism, as well as the crosstalk that takes place between peroxisomes and other organelles.


ABC transporter Crosstalk of peroxisomes with other organelles Ether-phospholipid synthesis Fatty acid β- and α-oxidation Oxidative stress Peroxisome Reactive oxygen species Solute transporter 



ATP-binding cassette


Acyl-CoA oxidases


Central nervous system


Dihydroxycholestanoic acid


Endoplasmic reticulum


Long chain fatty acid


Lipid droplets


Mitochondrial antiviral-signaling protein


Nucleotide-binding domain


Peroxisomal membrane protein


Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor


Polyunsaturated fatty acids


Reactive oxygen species


Trihydroxycholestanoic acid


Transmembrane domain


Very long chain fatty acid


X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy



The publication is supported in part by a Grant-in-Aid for Intractable Diseases from the Ministry of health, Labour and Welfare of Japan and from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan. Pacific Edit reviewed the manuscript prior to submission.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Medicine and Pharmaceutical SciencesUniversity of ToyamaToyamaJapan
  2. 2.Faculty of Pharmaceutical SciencesHiroshima International UniversityKureJapan
  3. 3.University of ToyamaToyamaJapan

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