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Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2009 Sep;10(9):623-35. doi: 10.1038/nrm2745. Epub 2009 Aug 12.

Lysosome biogenesis and lysosomal membrane proteins: trafficking meets function.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Christian-Albrechts University, Kiel, Germany.


Lysosomes are the primary catabolic compartments of eukaryotic cells. They degrade extracellular material that has been internalized by endocytosis and intracellular components that have been sequestered by autophagy. In addition, specialized cells contain lysosome-related organelles that store and secrete proteins for cell-type-specific functions. The functioning of a healthy cell is dependent on the proper targeting of newly synthesized lysosomal proteins. Accumulating evidence suggests that there are multiple lysosomal delivery pathways that together allow the regulated and sequential deposition of lysosomal components. The importance of lysosomal trafficking pathways is emphasized by recent findings that reveal new roles for lysosomal membrane proteins in cellular physiology and in an increasing number of diseases that are characterized by defects in lysosome biogenesis.

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