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Peroxisome

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Definition

noun, plural: peroxiomes

A cell organelle whose major function is for the breakdown of very long chain of fatty acids, branched chain fatty acids, D-amino acids, and polyamines, and detoxification of hydrogen peroxide


Supplement

Peroxisome is an organelle that is present in most eukaryotic cells. It is involved in the breakdown of very long chain fatty acids, polyamines, and hydrogen peroxide. It is also involved in the synthesis of plasmalogens. Peroxisome is surrounded by a lipid bilayer membrane. It may also contain a crystalloid core. One of its main functions is to catabolize very long chain fatty acids via beta-oxidation. Very long chain fatty acids, as the name implies, are made up of very long chain of fatty acid subunits and are therefore metabolized in the peroxisomes rather than in the mitochondria. In animal cells, these fatty acids are converted into medium chain fatty acids in the peroxisome and are then shuttled to the mitochondria to be further degraded into carbon dioxide and water. In plant cells and yeasts, the breakdown of very long chain fatty acids into carbon dioxide and water takes place in the peroxisomes. In plant cells, the peroxisome takes additional roles, such as in glyxolate cycle (in germinating seeds) and photorespiration (in leaves).

A defective peroxisome leads to various disorders and medically important conditions associated with defective peroxisome are referred to as peroxisomal disorders.


Synonym(s):

  • microbody

See also:

  • organelle

Related form(s):

  • peroxisomal (adjective, of, pertaining to, or relating to a peroxisome)