Peroxisomes transport folded and oligomeric proteins across their membrane. Two cytosolic import receptors, Pex5p and Pex7p, along with approximately 12 membrane-bound peroxins participate in this process. While interactions among individual peroxins have been described, their organization into functional units has remained elusive. We have purified and defined two core complexes of the peroxisomal import machinery: the docking complex comprising Pex14p and Pex17p, with the loosely associated Pex13p, and the RING finger complex containing Pex2p, Pex10p, and Pex12p. Association of both complexes into a larger import complex requires Pex8p, an intraperoxisomal protein. We conclude that Pex8p organizes the formation of the larger import complex from the trans side of the peroxisomal membrane and thus might enable functional communication between both sides of the membrane.
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