Peroxisome Morphology in Pathologies

  • Michael Schrader
  • Inês Castro
  • H. Dariush Fahimi
  • Markus Islinger


Peroxisomes are ubiquitous and heterogeneous multi-purpose organelles, which are indispensable for human health and development. The invention of specific cytochemical staining methods for peroxisomes revealed their high plasticity and ability to alter their morphology in response to environmental cues. Peroxisome dynamics depend on peroxisomal morphology proteins such as Pex11p, DLP1/Drp1, Fis1, Mff, and GDAP1 which are partially shared with mitochondria. Here, we address variations of peroxisome morphology in the healthy organism and summarize findings on altered organelle morphology in peroxisomal disorders. We highlight recent insights in novel disorders with defects in peroxisome morphology proteins and alterations of peroxisomes during stress and signaling, as well as secondary alterations in liver disease and cancer.


Peroxisomes Organelle dynamics Biogenesis disorders Dynamin Pex11 Mff GDAP1 



Acyl-CoA oxidase


Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease


D-bifunctional protein




Docosahexaenoic acid


Dynamin-like/related protein 1


Endoplasmic reticulum


Ganglioside-induced differentiation associated protein 1


Mitochondrial fission factor


Peroxisome biogenesis disorder




Peroxisomal membrane protein


Peroxisome proliferator activated receptor


Peroxisomal targeting signal


Reactive oxygen species


Single enzyme deficiency



We would like to thank M. Ebberink and H. Waterham (Amsterdam Medical Center), H. Shamseddin and F.S. Alkuraya (King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Riyadh) for kindly providing images of patient fibroblasts and members of the laboratory for stimulating discussions and comments on the manuscript. We apologize to those whose work has not been cited owing to space limitations. This work was generously supported by a Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Award (WT097835MF), BBSRC (BB/K006231/1), the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) and FEDER/COMPETE (PTDC/SAU/OSM/103647/2008; PTDC/BIA-BCM/099613/2008; PTDC/BIA-BCM/118605/2010; SFRH/BPD/74428/2010 to M.I.). I.C. is supported by a fellowship from the University of Exeter, UK.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Schrader
    • 1
    • 2
  • Inês Castro
    • 1
  • H. Dariush Fahimi
    • 3
  • Markus Islinger
    • 4
  1. 1.College of Life and Environmental Sciences, BiosciencesUniversity of ExeterExeterUK
  2. 2.Department of Biology, Centre for Cell BiologyUniversity of AveiroAveiroPortugal
  3. 3.Division of Medical Cell Biology, Department of Anatomy and Cell BiologyUniversity of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany
  4. 4.Department of Neuroanatomy, Center for Biomedicine and Medical Technology MannheimUniversity of HeidelbergMannheimGermany

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