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PEROXISOMES — Result In Brief

Project ID: 512018
Country: Austria

Spotlight on peroxisomes and disease

Several fatal human disorders have been linked to functionally impaired peroxisomes. Since peroxisomal biology is poorly characterised, European scientists initiated a cohesive functional characterisation of these organelles in health and disease.
Spotlight on peroxisomes and disease
Peroxisomes are essential organelles found in all eukaryotic cells involved in different cellular events, including catabolism and anabolism. Peroxisomal disorders are rare but fatal, and typically affect the human nervous system, as well as many other organ systems. The different functions and dynamics of this organelle in health and disease are poorly understood. An in-depth study on the biogenesis and function of peroxisomes is needed in order to develop effective therapeutic strategies and prevention.

The EU-funded project ‘Integrated project to decipher the biological function of peroxisomes in health and disease’ (Peroxisomes) aimed to fill the gap in knowledge on the biogenesis and role of peroxisomes in living organisms. Cutting-edge methods and tools were established and applied to peroxisomes, from a genomics, proteomics, metabolomics and bioinformatics perspectives.

The European scientists participating in this project evaluated the fundamental role of peroxisomes in different cell types during development and in adulthood. Significant insights were gained into the molecular mechanisms and phenotypes involved in known and uncharacterised peroxisomal deficiencies, identifying at the same time potent therapeutic targets. Moreover, since peroxisomes have been accused of modulating several diseases, such as arteriosclerosis, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, a high-throughput screening of peroxisomal proteins involved was initiated.

The knowledge gained by Peroxisomes is available in a peroxisomal database, created by the consortium to collect and disseminate all the available information. More than 140 scientific articles, published over four years by Peroxisomes scientists, made publicly available the massive amount of knowledge on peroxisomes in health and disease.

In addition, the network established by the project has enabled transfer of information, expertise, data and effective cooperation. These interactions will be continued thus promoting European scientific research in the field of peroxisomal disorders and diseases.

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