In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, fatty acid beta-oxidation is restricted to peroxisomes. Previous studies have shown two possible routes by which fatty acids enter the peroxisome. The first route involves transport of medium-chain fatty acids across the peroxisomal membrane as free fatty acids, followed by activation within the peroxisome by Faa2p, an acyl-CoA synthetase. The second route involves transport of long-chain fatty acids. Long-chain fatty acids enter the peroxisome via a route that involves activation in the extraperoxisomal space, followed by transport across the peroxisomal membrane. It has been suggested that this transport is dependent upon the peroxisomal ATP-binding-cassette transporters Pxa1p and Pxa2p. In this paper we investigated whether Pxa2p is directly responsible for the transport of C18:1-CoA, a long-chain acyl-CoA ester. Using protoplasts in which the plasma membrane has been selectively permeabilised by digitonin, we show that C18:1-CoA, but not C8:0-CoA, enters the peroxisome via Pxa2p, in an ATP-dependent fashion. The results obtained may contribute to the elucidation of the primary defect in the human disease X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy.
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