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Dev Cell. 2011 Sep 13;21(3):421-30. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2011.07.016. Epub 2011 Sep 1.

Transcriptional activation of lysosomal exocytosis promotes cellular clearance.

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Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine (TIGEM), Via P. Castellino 111, 80131 Naples, Italy.


Lysosomes are cellular organelles primarily involved in degradation and recycling processes. During lysosomal exocytosis, a Ca²⁺-regulated process, lysosomes are docked to the cell surface and fuse with the plasma membrane (PM), emptying their content outside the cell. This process has an important role in secretion and PM repair. Here we show that the transcription factor EB (TFEB) regulates lysosomal exocytosis. TFEB increases the pool of lysosomes in the proximity of the PM and promotes their fusion with PM by raising intracellular Ca²⁺ levels through the activation of the lysosomal Ca²⁺ channel MCOLN1. Induction of lysosomal exocytosis by TFEB overexpression rescued pathologic storage and restored normal cellular morphology both in vitro and in vivo in lysosomal storage diseases (LSDs). Our data indicate that lysosomal exocytosis may directly modulate cellular clearance and suggest an alternative therapeutic strategy for disorders associated with intracellular storage.

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