A major 31 kDa integral peroxisomal membrane protein (PMP31) of Hansenula polymorpha was purified to homogeneity from isolated peroxisomal membranes by FPLC after solubilization by Triton X-100. Biochemical analysis indicated that this protein, which showed cross-reactivity with antibodies against the 31 kDa porin of the mitochondrial outer membrane of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, had pore-forming properties. Firstly, proteoliposomes composed of asolectin and purified PMP31 showed selective permeability, determined as the [14C]sucrose/[3H]dextran leakage ratios. Furthermore, the generation of a delta psi by potassium diffusion gradients was negatively affected by the presence of PMP31 in asolectin liposomes. A similar effect was observed in proteoliposomes containing purified cytochrome c oxidase as a delta psi generating system. Control experiments confirmed that the observed leakage is significant and introduced by the incorporation of PMP31 protein. Selective sucrose leakage was abolished in samples pretreated with glutaraldehyde; an identical effect of glutaraldehyde was, however, not observed for the membrane potential measurements.