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THE SYNTHESIS AND TURNOVER OF RAT LIVER PEROXISOMES

Brian Poole, Tokuhiko Higashi, Christian de Duve

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Rat liver peroxisomes have been separated according to size by zonal sedimentation. A method is described for calculating the size of the particles from their final position in the gradient. Peroxisomes seem biochemically homogeneous throughout their size distribution. 3 hr after injection of tritiated leucine, the specific radioactivity of catalase is the same in peroxisomes of different sizes, and it remains so for up to 1 wk after administration of the precursor. This observation rules out the possibility that peroxisomes have an extended period of independent growth. If individual particles maintain an independent existence, they must be formed very rapidly. The other possible explanation is that peroxisomes exchange material within the liver cell.