Plant peroxisomes are extremely dynamic, moving and undergoing changes of shape in response to metabolic and environmental signals. Matrix proteins are imported via one of two import pathways, depending on the targeting signal within the protein. Each pathway has a specific receptor but utilizes common membrane-bound translocation machinery. Current models invoke receptor recycling, which may involve cycles of ubiquitination. Some components of the import machinery may also play a role in proteolytic turnover of matrix proteins, prompting parallels with the endoplasmic-reticulum-associated degradation pathway. Peroxisome membrane proteins, some of which are imported post-translationally, others of which may traffic to peroxisomes via the endoplasmic reticulum, use distinct proteinaceous machinery. The isolation of mutants defective in peroxisome biogenesis has served to emphasize the important role of peroxisomes at all stages of the plant life cycle.

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