Peroxisome

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I now stumble upon a very unusual sight. It seems that I have traveled back to the past! Do I really see Vikings? By the shore I see a frightening ship with red and white sails. The people here carry swords and spears. but I must not let these details unnerve me, for I must find my next organelle: the peroxisome. In this book that I hold in my hand, a diagram tells me that peroxisomes look somewhat spherical with a mix of enzymes and a crystalline structure inside.

Structure

  • Surrounded by a single lipid bilayer membrane
  • Often contains a crystalline structure in its center
  • Contains enzymes such as D-amino acid oxidase, urate oxidase, and catalase (degrades H2O2)

Function

  • Peroxisomes play a role in metabolism through oxidation. Plant cells do not have lysosomes, so peroxisomes are used instead for catabolism.
  • Enzymes within the peroxisome add hydrogen atoms to oxygen molecules to form hydrogen peroxide ( 2H + O2  → H2O2 ). Other enzymes convert hydrogen peroxide back to water.
  • In plant seeds, a type of peroxisome called the glyoxysome is found in the fat-storing tissues of plant seeds, which converts fatty acids to sugar.
  • Peroxisomes grow by absorbing lipids and proteins in its environs. They self-replicate by dividing in half.

Peroxisomes may work in conjunction with chloroplasts and mitochondria.

 

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Where Was I?

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