In the yeast Hansenula polymorpha the peroxisomal membrane protein Pex11 and three endoplasmic reticulum localized proteins of the Pex23 family (Pex23, Pex24 and Pex32) are involved in the formation of peroxisome-ER contact sites. Previous studies suggested that these contacts are involved in non-vesicular lipid transfer and important for expansion of the peroxisomal membrane. The absence of Pex32 results in a severe peroxisomal phenotype, while cells lacking Pex11, Pex23 or Pex24 show milder defects and still are capable to form peroxisomes and grow on methanol. We performed transposon mutagenesis on H. polymorpha pex11 cells and selected mutants that lost the capacity to grow on methanol and are severely blocked in peroxisome formation. This strategy resulted in the identification of Vps13, a highly conserved contact site protein involved in bulk lipid transfer. Our data show that peroxisome formation and function is normal in cells of a vps13 single deletion strain. However, Vps13 is essential for peroxisome biogenesis in pex11. Notably, Vps13 is also required for peroxisome formation in pex23 and pex24 cells. These data suggest that Vps13 is crucial for peroxisome formation in cells with reduced peroxisome-endoplasmic reticulum contact sites and plays a redundant function in lipid transfer from the ER to peroxisomes.
- contact site
- endoplasmic reticulum