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  1. 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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