The lysosome is one of the most poorly understood cellular mechanisms. Traditionally – and somewhat dismissively – referred to as the “stomach” or “trash bin” of the cell, lysosomes contain enzymes to break down and recycle internal and external macromolecules, like waste materials and cellular debris.
Research in the last two decades in particular has expanded our understanding of the lysosome’s role to include much broader functions such as membrane repair and amino acid sensing. The organelle also emerges as a signaling hub for mTOR to maintain energy homeostasis
With significant implication in various pathological conditions, lysosomal pathways are evaluated as a pharmacological target for lysosomal storage diseases, cancer, neurodegeneration as well as playing some role in immune function with implications both for infectious diseases and autoimmune processes
Lysosomes also involve the delivery of other biologicals and antibody drug conjugates. In addition, many drugs are found to accumulate inside lysosomes, allowing them to contribute to our understanding of pharmacokinetics, drug-drug interactions, and toxicity profiling.