Peroxisomal Disorders: Clinical, Biochemical, and Molecular Aspects*

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Abstract

Peroxisomes are subcellular organelles catalyzing a number of indispensable functions in cellular metabolism. The importance of peroxisomes in man is stressed by the existence of an expanding group of genetic diseases in which there is an impairment in one or more peroxisomal functions. Much has been learned in recent years about these functions and many of the enzymes involved have been characterized, purified and their cDNAs cloned. This has allowed resolution of the enzymatic and molecular basis of many of the single peroxisomal enzyme deficiencies. Similarly, the molecular basis of the peroxisome biogenesis disorders is also being resolved rapidly thanks to the successful use of CHO as well as yeast mutants. In this paper we will provide an overview of the peroxisomal disorders with particular emphasis on their clinical, biochemical and molecular characteristics.

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