Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

, Volume 51, Issue 1, pp 33–43 | Cite as

Biogenesis and metabolic significance of microbodies in urate-utilizing yeasts

  • M. Veenhuis
  • M. C. Hoogkamer-Te Niet
  • W. J. Middelhoven
Physiology and Growth


Growth of Candida famata and Trichosporon cutaneum on uric acid as the sole source of carbon and nitrogen was associated with the development of a number of microbodies in the cells. Cytochemical staining experiments showed that the organelles contained urate oxidase, a key enzyme of uric acid metabolism, and catalase. Transfer of cells, precultured on glucose or glycerol, into uric acid-containing media indicated that these microbodies originated from the organelles, originally present in the inoculum cells, by growth and division. In urate-grown C. famata the microbodies were frequently observed in large clusters; in both organisms they existed in close association with mitochondria and strands of ER. The organelles lacked crystalline inclusions. In freeze-fractured cells their surrounding membranes showed smooth fracture faces.

Exposure of urate-grown cells to glucose-excess conditions led to a rapid inactivation of urate oxidase activity but catalase was only slightly inactivated. Glucose-induced enzyme inactivation was not associated with the degradation of the microbodies present in the cells. Similarly, repression of urate oxidase synthesis by ammonium ions also did not lead to the degradation of peroxisomes.


Uric Acid Catalase Sole Source Enzyme Inactivation Metabolic Significance 
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Copyright information

© Drukkerij Veenman B.V. 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Veenhuis
    • 1
  • M. C. Hoogkamer-Te Niet
    • 2
  • W. J. Middelhoven
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratory for Electron Microscopy, Biological CentreUniversity of GroningenHarenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of MicrobiologyAgricultural UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands

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