Peroxisomal ghosts are intracellular structures distinct from lysosomal compartments in Zellweger Syndrome: A confocal laser scanning microscopy study

Manuel J. Santos, Scott C. Henderson, Ann B. Moser, Hugo W. Moser, Paul B. Lazarow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Peroxisome ghosts are aberrant peroxisomal structures found in cultured skin fibroblasts from patients affected by Zellweger Syndrome (ZS), a genetic disorder of peroxisomal assembly. They contain peroxisomal integral membrane proteins (PxIMPs) and they lack most of the matrix enzymes that should be inside the organelle. Considerable evidence indicates that these ghosts result from genetic defects in the cellular machinery for importing newly-synthesized peroxisomal proteins into the organelle. In contrast to these observations, report that in Zellweger Syndrome, peroxisomal membranes are located within lysosomes and/or contain lysosomal enzymes. We have undertaken a more detailed and systematic investigation of this matter, employing confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM). In fibroblasts derived from ZS patients belonging to different complementation groups, peroxisomes were labeled with antibodies against PxIMPs and lysosomes were labeled with an antibody against a lysosome associated membrane protein (LAMP-2) or with LysoTracker. The results unambiguously demonstrated no appreciable colocalization of PxIMPs and LAMPs (or LysoTracker), indicating that peroxisomal ghosts are distinct subcellular structures, occupying separate subcellular locations. (C) 2000 Editions scientifiques et medicales Elsevier SAS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-94
Number of pages10
JournalBiology of the Cell
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2000



  • Confocal laser scanning microscopy
  • Immunofluorescence
  • Lysosomes
  • Membrane ghosts
  • Membrane proteins
  • Organelle biogenesis
  • Peroxisomes
  • Zellweger syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

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