Journal of Molecular Biology vol:346 issue:5 pages:1275-1286
Pex19p, a primarily cytosolic protein, is essential for the biogenesis of numerous peroxisomal membrane proteins (PMPs); however, its precise function is unclear. Pex19p might function as a PMP-specific chaperone, a cycling PMP-receptor protein, a PMP membrane insertion factor, or an association/dissociation factor of membrane-associated protein complexes. Alternatively, Pex19p might act as a multifunctional peroxin and participate in a number of these activities. Here, we have employed transposon mutagenesis to generate a library of human pex19 alleles coding for Pex19p variants containing random in-frame pentapeptide insertions. A total of 87 different variants were characterized to identify functionally important regions. These studies revealed that Pex19p has a tripartite domain structure consisting of: (i) an amino-terminal domain that binds to Pex3p and is essential for docking at the peroxisome membrane; (ii) a central domain that competes with Pex5p and Pex13p for binding to Pex14p and may play a role in the assembly of PTS-receptor docking complexes; and (iii) a carboxy-terminal domain that interacts with multiple PMPs including Pex3p, Pex11pbeta, Pex12p, Pex13p, Pex16p, and Pex26p. Whether the latter interactions constitute the chaperone or transport functions (or both), remains to be determined. Finally, our observation that Pex19p contains two distinct binding sites for Pex3p suggests that the peroxin may bind PMPs in multiple places and for multiple purposes.