Pexophagy: Autophagic degradation of peroxisomes

Yasuyoshi Sakai*, Masahide Oku, Ida J. van der Klei, Jan A.K.W. Kiel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic

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The abundance of peroxisomes within a cell can rapidly decrease by selective autophagic degradation (also designated pexophagy). Studies in yeast species have shown that at least two modes of peroxisome degradation are employed, namely macropexophagy and micropexophagy. During macropexophagy, peroxisomes are individually sequestered by membranes, thus forming a pexophagosome. This structure fuses with the vacuolar membrane, resulting in exposure of the incorporated peroxisome to vacuolar hydrolases. During micropexophagy, a cluster of peroxisomes is enclosed by vacuolar membrane protrusions and/or segmented vacuoles as well as a newly formed membrane structure, the micropexophagy-specific membrane apparatus (MIPA), which mediates the enclosement of the vacuolar membrane. Subsequently, the engulfed peroxisome cluster is degraded. This review discusses the current state of knowledge of pexophagy with emphasis on studies on methylotrophic yeast species.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1767 - 1775
Number of pages9
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Molecular Cell Research
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • Vacuole
  • Sequestration
  • Pexophagy
  • Peroxin
  • Autophagy
  • ATG gene

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