Proteins harbouring a peroxisomal targeting signal of type 1 (PTS1) are recognized by the import receptor Pex5p in the cytosol which directs them to a docking and translocation complex at the peroxisomal membrane. We demonstrate the ubiquitination of Pex5p in cells lacking components of the peroxisomal AAA (ATPases associated with various cellular activities) or Pex4p–Pex22p complexes of the peroxisomal protein import machinery and in cells affected in proteasomal degradation. In cells lacking components of the Pex4p–Pex22p complex, mono-ubiquitinated Pex5p represents the major modification, while in cells lacking components of the AAA complex polyubiquitinated forms are most prominent. Ubiquitination of Pex5p is shown to take place exclusively at the peroxisomal membrane after the docking step, and requires the presence of the RING-finger peroxin Pex10p. Mono- and poly-ubiquitination are demonstrated to depend on the ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme Ubc4p, suggesting that the ubiquitinated forms of Pex5p are targeted for proteasomal degradation. Accumulation of ubiquitinated Pex5p in proteasomal mutants demonstrates that the ubiquitination of Pex5p also takes place in strains which are not affected in peroxisomal biogenesis, indicating that the ubiquitination of Pex5p represents a genuine stage in the Pex5p receptor cycle.

You do not currently have access to this content.