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FASEB J. 2000 Jul;14(10):1265-78.

Lysosome-related organelles.

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  • 1Cell Biology and Metabolism Branch, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-5430, USA.


Lysosomes are membrane-bound cytoplasmic organelles involved in intracellular protein degradation. They contain an assortment of soluble acid-dependent hydrolases and a set of highly glycosylated integral membrane proteins. Most of the properties of lysosomes are shared with a group of cell type-specific compartments referred to as 'lysosome-related organelles', which include melanosomes, lytic granules, MHC class II compartments, platelet-dense granules, basophil granules, azurophil granules, and Drosophila pigment granules. In addition to lysosomal proteins, these organelles contain cell type-specific components that are responsible for their specialized functions. Abnormalities in both lysosomes and lysosome-related organelles have been observed in human genetic diseases such as the Chediak-Higashi and Hermansky-Pudlak syndromes, further demonstrating the close relationship between these organelles. Identification of genes mutated in these human diseases, as well as in mouse and Drosophila: pigmentation mutants, is beginning to shed light on the molecular machinery involved in the biogenesis of lysosomes and lysosome-related organelles.

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