RNA is often targeted to be localized to the specific subcellular compartments. Specific localization of mRNA is believed to be an important mechanism for targeting their protein products to the locations, where their function is required.
In this study we performed the genome wide transcriptome analysis of peroxisome preparations from the mouse liver using microarrays. We demonstrate that RNA is absent inside peroxisomes, however it is associated at their exterior via the noncovalent contacts with the membrane proteins. We detect enrichment of specific sets of transcripts in two preparations of peroxisomes, purified with different degrees of stringency. Importantly, among these were mRNAs encoding bona fide peroxisomal proteins, such as peroxins and peroxisomal matrix enzymes involved in beta-oxidation of fatty acids and bile acid biosynthesis. The top-most enriched mRNA, whose association with peroxisomes we confirm microscopically was Hmgcs1, encoding 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA synthase, a crucial enzyme of cholesterol biosynthesis pathway. We observed significant representation of mRNAs encoding mitochondrial and secreted proteins in the peroxisomal fractions.
This is a pioneer genome-wide study of localization of mRNAs to peroxisomes that provides foundation for more detailed dissection of mechanisms of RNA targeting to subcellular compartments.