A function for lipoxygenase in programmed organelle degradation

Klaus Van Leyen, Robert M. Duvoisin, Harald Engelhardt, Martin Wiedmann

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Abstract

Membrane-enclosed organelles, a defining characteristic of eukaryotic cells, are lost during differentiation of specific cell types such as reticulocytes (an intermediate in differentiation of erythrocytes), central fibre cells of the eye lens, and keratinocytes. The degradation of these organelles must be tightly regulated with respect to both the time of activation and the specificity of membrane degradation. The expression of 15- lipoxygenase (15-LOX) peaks in reticulocytes immediately before organelle degradation. Here we show that 15-LOX integrates into the membranes of various organelles, allowing release of proteins from the organelle lumen and access of proteases to both lumenal and integral membrane proteins. In addition, by sparing the plasma membrane, 15-LOX shows the required specificity for organellar membranes. Thus, the action of 15-LOX provides a mechanism by which the natural degradation process can be explained. This conclusion is supported by our finding that lipoxygenase expression in the eye lens is restricted to the region at which organelle degradation occurs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)392-395
Number of pages4
JournalNature
Volume395
Issue number6700
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 24 1998

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Van Leyen, K., Duvoisin, R. M., Engelhardt, H., & Wiedmann, M. (1998). A function for lipoxygenase in programmed organelle degradation. Nature, 395(6700), 392-395. https://doi.org/10.1038/26500