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Peroxisomes move by hitchhiking on early endosomes using the novel linker protein PxdA


Eukaryotic cells use microtubule-based intracellular transport for the delivery of many subcellular cargos, including organelles. The canonical view of organelle transport is that organelles directly recruit molecular motors via cargo-specific adaptors. In contrast with this view, we show here that peroxisomes move by hitchhiking on early endosomes, an organelle that directly recruits the transport machinery. Using the filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans we found that hitchhiking is mediated by a novel endosome-associated linker protein, PxdA. PxdA is required for normal distribution and long-range movement of peroxisomes, but not early endosomes or nuclei. Using simultaneous time-lapse imaging, we find that early endosome-associated PxdA localizes to the leading edge of moving peroxisomes. We identify a coiled-coil region within PxdA that is necessary and sufficient for early endosome localization and peroxisome distribution and motility. These results present a new mechanism of microtubule-based organelle transport in which peroxisomes hitchhike on early endosomes and identify PxdA as the novel linker protein required for this coupling.

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