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Keywords:

  • Metabolic compartmentalization;
  • Unsaturated fatty acid;
  • Oleic acid induction;
  • Eci1p;
  • Dci1p;
  • Ehd3p/Ydr036cp;
  • Cta1p

Abstract

Peroxisomal fatty acid degradation in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae requires an array of β-oxidation enzyme activities as well as a set of auxiliary activities to provide the β-oxidation machinery with the proper substrates. The corresponding classical and auxiliary enzymes of β-oxidation have been completely characterized, many at the structural level with the identification of catalytic residues. Import of fatty acids from the growth medium involves passive diffusion in combination with an active, protein-mediated component that includes acyl-CoA ligases, illustrating the intimate linkage between fatty acid import and activation. The main factors involved in protein import into peroxisomes are also known, but only one peroxisomal metabolite transporter has been characterized in detail, Ant1p, which exchanges intraperoxisomal AMP with cytosolic ATP. The other known transporter is Pxa1p–Pxa2p, which bears similarity to the human adrenoleukodystrophy protein ALDP. The major players in the regulation of fatty acid-induced gene expression are Pip2p and Oaf1p, which unite to form a transcription factor that binds to oleate response elements in the promoter regions of genes encoding peroxisomal proteins. Adr1p, a transcription factor, binding upstream activating sequence 1, also regulates key genes involved in β-oxidation. The development of new, postgenomic-era tools allows for the characterization of the entire transcriptome involved in β-oxidation and will facilitate the identification of novel proteins as well as the characterization of protein families involved in this process.