Docosahexaenoic acid mediates peroxisomal elongation, a prerequisite for peroxisome division.

Mark McIntosh,'s picture
PubMed URL:
Fujiki Y
Author List: 
Itoyama A
Honsho M
Abe Y
Moser A
Yoshida Y
Fujiki Y
J Cell Sci
PubMed ID: 
Pt 3
Peroxisome division is regulated by several factors, termed fission factors, as well as the conditions of the cellular environment. Over the past decade, the idea of metabolic control of peroxisomal morphogenesis has been postulated, but remains largely undefined to date. In the current study, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, C22:6n-3) was identified as an inducer of peroxisome division. In fibroblasts isolated from patients that carry defects in peroxisomal fatty acid β-oxidation, peroxisomes are much less abundant than normal cells. Treatment of these patient fibroblasts with DHA induced the proliferation of peroxisomes to the level seen in normal fibroblasts. DHA-induced peroxisomal proliferation was abrogated by treatment with a small inhibitory RNA (siRNA) targeting dynamin-like protein 1 and with dynasore, an inhibitor of dynamin-like protein 1, which suggested that DHA stimulates peroxisome division. DHA augmented the hyper-oligomerization of Pex11pβ and the formation of Pex11pβ-enriched regions on elongated peroxisomes. Time-lapse imaging analysis of peroxisomal morphogenesis revealed a sequence of steps involved in peroxisome division, including elongation in one direction followed by peroxisomal fission. DHA enhanced peroxisomal division in a microtubule-independent manner. These results suggest that DHA is a crucial signal for peroxisomal elongation, a prerequisite for subsequent fission and peroxisome division.
Published Date: 
February, 2012

Bradley L. Schlaggar, M.D., Ph.D., Named President and CEO of Kennedy Krieger Institute

We’re thrilled to welcome Bradley L. Schlaggar, M.D., Ph.D., to the Kennedy Krieger family as our next President and CEO.

Learn more.

Appointments & Referrals



Read inspiring stories, news and updates about the Institute's patient care, research, special education, professional training, and community programs.


Resource Finder


A free resource that provides access to information and support for individuals and families living with developmental disabilities.