Firefly luciferase is imported into peroxisomes in insects, mammals, plants, and yeast, which implies that the mechanism of protein translocation into peroxisomes has been conserved during eukaryotic evolution. The carboxyl-terminal tripeptide serine-lysine-leucine in luciferase acts as a peroxisomal import signal in mammalian cells. We have investigated whether this tripeptide is also involved in translocation of firefly luciferase into peroxisomes in yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). We show by gene fusion experiments that the carboxyl-terminal 104 amino acids of luciferase can direct a heterologous protein to yeast peroxisomes. Luciferase mutant proteins were tested for their ability to be imported into yeast peroxisomes in vivo. We demonstrate that mutations in the carboxyl-terminal serine-lysine-leucine tripeptide abolish translocation of the protein into yeast peroxisomes. However, when a passenger protein was tagged at its carboxyl terminus with this tripeptide the fusion protein did not go to peroxisomes. These results indicate that, in yeast, the tripeptide is necessary but not sufficient for peroxisomal import.
|Number of pages
|The New biologist
|Published - Feb 1992
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology