In what way can there be a problem with having peroxisomes? Provide a disorder that affects peroxisomes?

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booboosmoosh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Peroxisomes are organelles, which are a subunit of a cell. The organelle has a very specific purpose or job within the cell. The peroxisome, then, also  has an important job on a cellular basis—it is involved in the intricate process called catabolism, which takes place with the "breakdown of molecules" for the purpose of releasing energy. Generally, the peroxisome is important for the function of "mammalian brains and lungs," central in the processes of sustaining life. (Peroxisomes are also present in plant life.) Peroxisomes are critical to metabolic function. As this function takes place, plasmalogens are formed in much the same way as peroxisomes.

One disease related to peroxisomes is called gout—when a specific element is missing from the peroxisome, namely uric acid oxidase. This element is not present in human beings, therefore it can lead to gout. (Gout is a disease that can be regulated by changes to diet, often present in people with very rich diets—it is also called "rich man's disease.")

In terms of difficulties with peroxisomes...

...many peroxisomal disorders affect the nervous system.

One of the disorders that affects peroxisomes is Zellweger syndrome, which... a rare, congenital disorder, characterized by the reduction or absence of functional peroxisomes... one's cells. This syndrome is associated with impaired brain development. It can be directly related to the progressive decrease in hearing and vision, and can also affect major organs.

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