Secretory lysosomes

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2002 Feb;3(2):122-31. doi: 10.1038/nrm732.


Regulated secretion of stored secretory products is important in many cell types. In contrast to professional secretory cells, which store their secretory products in specialized secretory granules, some secretory cells store their secretory proteins in a dual-function organelle, called a secretory lysosome. Functionally, secretory lysosomes are unusual in that they serve both as a degradative and as a secretory compartment. Recent work shows that cells with secretory lysosomes use new sorting and secretory pathways. The importance of these organelles is highlighted by several genetic diseases, in which immune function and pigmentation--two processes that normally involve secretory lysosomes--are impaired.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution
  • Endocytosis
  • Exocytosis
  • Fas Ligand Protein
  • Genetic Diseases, Inborn / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Lysosomes / metabolism*
  • Lysosomes / physiology
  • Membrane Fusion
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / metabolism
  • Models, Biological
  • Proteins / metabolism


  • FASLG protein, human
  • Fas Ligand Protein
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Proteins