Studying the topology of peroxisomal acyl-CoA synthetases using self-assembling split sfGFP

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Peroxisomes are membrane-bounded organelles that contain enzymes involved in multiple lipid metabolic pathways. Several of these pathways require (re-)activation of fatty acids to coenzyme A (CoA) esters by acyl-CoA synthetases, which may take place inside the peroxisomal lumen or extraperoxisomal. The acyl-CoA synthetases SLC27A2, SLC27A4, ACSL1, and ACSL4 have different but overlapping substrate specificities and were previously reported to be localized in the peroxisomal membrane in addition to other subcellular locations. However, it has remained unclear if the catalytic acyl-CoA synthetase sites of these enzymes are facing the peroxisomal lumen or the cytosolic side of the peroxisomal membrane. To study this topology in cellulo we have developed a microscopy-based method that uses the previously developed self-assembling split superfolder (sf) green fluorescent protein (GFP) assay. We show that this self-assembling split sfGFP method can be used to study the localization as well as the topology of membrane proteins in the peroxisomal membrane, but that it is less suited to study the location of soluble peroxisomal proteins. With the method we could demonstrate that the acyl-CoA synthetase domains of the peroxisome-bound acyl-CoA synthetases SLC27A2 and SLC27A4 are oriented toward the peroxisomal lumen and the domain of ACSL1 toward the cytosol. In contrast to previous reports, ACSL4 was not found in peroxisomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-144
Number of pages12
JournalHistochemistry and Cell Biology
Issue number2
Early online date2024
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024


  • CoA
  • Fatty acids
  • Metabolism
  • Peroxisomes
  • Superfolder GFP

Cite this