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The import of proteins into peroxisomes possesses many unusual features such as the ability to import folded proteins, and a surprising diversity of targeting signals with differing affinities that can be recognized by the same receptor. As understanding of the structure and function of many components of the protein import machinery has grown, an increasingly complex network of factors affecting each step of the import pathway has emerged. Structural studies have revealed the presence of additional interactions between cargo proteins and the PEX5 receptor that affect import potential, with a subtle network of cargo-induced conformational changes in PEX5 being involved in the import process. Biochemical studies have also indicated an interdependence of receptor-cargo import with release of unloaded receptor from the peroxisome. Here, we provide an update on recent literature concerning mechanisms of protein import into peroxisomes.

Original publication




Journal article


Biochem Soc Trans

Publication Date





783 - 789


Animals Eukaryota/metabolism Humans Peroxisomes/*metabolism Protein Conformation Protein Sorting Signals Protein Transport Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear/*metabolism *pex5 *mechanisms *models *peroxisome *protein import cycle *targeting signal