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    Peroxisomes are universal eukaryotic organelles essential to plants and animals. Most peroxisomal matrix proteins carry peroxisome targeting signal type 1 (PTS1), a C‐terminal tripeptide. Studies from various kingdoms have revealed influences from sequence upstream of the tripeptide on peroxisome targeting, supporting the view that positive charges in the upstream region are the major enhancing elements. However, a systematic approach to better define the upstream elements influencing PTS1 targeting capability is needed. Here, we used protein sequences from 177 plant genomes to perform large‐scale and in‐depth analysis of the PTS1 domain, which includes the PTS1 tripeptide and upstream sequence elements. We identified and verified 12 low‐frequency PTS1 tripeptides and revealed upstream enhancing and inhibiting sequence patterns for peroxisome targeting, which were subsequently validatedin vivo. Follow‐up analysis revealed that nonpolar and acidic residues have relatively strong enhancing and inhibiting effects, respectively, on peroxisome targeting. However, in contrast to the previous understanding, positive charges alone do not show the anticipated enhancing effect and that both the position and property of the residues within these patterns are important for peroxisome targeting. We further demonstrated that the three residues immediately upstream of the tripeptide are the core influencers, with a ‘basic‐nonpolar‐basic’ pattern serving as a strong and universal enhancing pattern for peroxisome targeting. These findings have significantly advanced our knowledge of the PTS1 domain in plants and likely other eukaryotic species as well. The principles and strategies employed in the present study may also be applied to deciphering auxiliary targeting signals for other organelles.

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  2. Summary

    Peroxisomes are small, ubiquitous organelles that are delimited by a single membrane and lack genetic material. However, these simple‐structured organelles are highly versatile in morphology, abundance and protein content in response to various developmental and environmental cues. In plants, peroxisomes are essential for growth and development and perform diverse metabolic functions, many of which are carried out coordinately by peroxisomes and other organelles physically interacting with peroxisomes. Recent studies have added greatly to our knowledge of peroxisomes, addressing areas such as the diverse proteome, regulation of division and protein import, pexophagy, matrix protein degradation, solute transport, signaling, redox homeostasis and various metabolic and physiological functions. This review summarizes our current understanding of plant peroxisomes, focusing on recent discoveries. Current problems and future efforts required to better understand these organelles are also discussed. An improved understanding of peroxisomes will be important not only to the understanding of eukaryotic cell biology and metabolism, but also to agricultural efforts aimed at improving crop performance and defense.

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  3. Summary

    Peroxisomes are dynamic organelles crucial for a variety of metabolic processes during the development of eukaryotic organisms, and are functionally linked to other subcellular organelles, such as mitochondria and chloroplasts. Peroxisomal matrix proteins are imported by peroxins (PEX proteins), yet the modulation of peroxin functions is poorly understood. We previously reported that, besides its known function in chloroplast protein import, the Arabidopsis E3 ubiquitin ligase SP1 (suppressor of ppi1 locus1) also targets to peroxisomes and mitochondria, and promotes the destabilization of the peroxisomal receptor–cargo docking complex components PEX13 and PEX14. Here we present evidence that in Arabidopsis, SP1's closest homolog SP1‐like 1 (SPL1) plays an opposite role to SP1 in peroxisomes. In contrast tosp1, loss‐of‐function ofSPL1led to reduced peroxisomal β‐oxidation activity, and enhanced the physiological and growth defects ofpex14andpex13mutants. Transient co‐expression of SPL1 and SP1 promoted each other's destabilization. SPL1 reduced the ability of SP1 to induce PEX13 turnover, and it is the N‐terminus of SP1 and SPL1 that determines whether the protein is able to promote PEX13 turnover. Finally, SPL1 showed prevalent targeting to mitochondria, but rather weak and partial localization to peroxisomes. Our data suggest that these two members of the same E3 protein family utilize distinct mechanisms to modulate peroxisome biogenesis, where SPL1 reduces the function of SP1. Plants and possibly other higher eukaryotes may employ this small family of E3 enzymes to differentially modulate the dynamics of several organelles essential to energy metabolism via the ubiquitin‐proteasome system.

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