Targeting sequences of the two major peroxisomal proteins in the methylotrophic yeast Hansenula polymorpha

Hans Hansen, Thomas Didion, Astrid Thiemann, Marten Veenhuis, Rainer Roggenkamp

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Dihydroxyacetone synthase (DAS) and methanol oxidase (MOX) are the major enzyme constituents of the peroxisomal matrix in the methylotrophic yeast Hansenula polymorpha when grown on methanol as a sole carbon source. In order to characterize their topogenic signals the localization of truncated polypeptides and hybrid proteins was analysed in transformed yeast cells by subcellular fractionation and electron microscopy. The C-terminal part of DAS, when fused to the bacterial β-lactamase or mouse dihydrofolate reductase, directed these hybrid polypeptides to the peroxisome compartment. The targeting signal was further delimited to the extreme C-terminus, comprising the sequence N-K-L-COOH, similar to the recently identified and widely distributed peroxisomal targeting signal (PTS) S-K-L-COOH in firefly luciferase. By an identical approach, the extreme C-terminus of MOX, comprising the tripeptide A-R-F-COOH, was shown to be the PTS of this protein. Furthermore, on fusion of a C-terminal sequence from firefly luciferase including the PTS, β-lactamase was also imported into the peroxisomes of H. polymorpha. We conclude that, besides the conserved PTS (or described variants), other amino acid sequences with this function have evolved in nature.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalMGG Molecular %26 General Genetics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1992


  • Hansenula polymorpha
  • Yeast
  • Targeting signals
  • Peroxisomes

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