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Peroxisomes are ubiquitous subcellular organelles in eukaryotes. They consist of a surrounding membrane that separates them from the cytosol (the internal fluid of the cell). Peroxisomes were discovered by Christian de Duve[?] in 1965. Unlike lysosomes, peroxisomes are not formed in the Golgi apparatus, but self-replicate by dividing.

One of the main functions of peroxisomes is to detoxify the cell by splitting hydrogen peroxide. They contain the enzyme catalase. Catalase converts H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide, a toxic byproduct of cellular metabolism) to H2O and O2, with 4H2O2 → 4H2O + 2O2.

Peroxisomes also catalyze the first two steps in the synthesis of ether phospholipids, which are later used to build membranes. In humans, peroxisomes are also responsible for oxidation of long-chain fatty acids[?]. Peroxisomes also contain other oxidative enzymes such as D-amino acid oxidase[?] and urease oxidase[?].

See also: organelle
Back to: biology

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