The lysosomal lumen contains numerous acidic hydrolases involved in the degradation of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids, which are basic cell components that turn over continuously within the cell and/or are ingested from outside of the cell. Deficiency in almost any of these hydrolases causes accumulation of the undigested material in secondary lysosomes, which manifests itself as a form of lysosomal storage disorder (LSD). Mutations in tripeptidyl-peptidase I (TPP I) underlie the classic late-infantile form of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (CLN2), the most common neurodegenerative disorders of childhood. TPP I is an aminopeptidase with minor endopeptidase activity and Ser475 serving as an active-site nucleophile. The enzyme is synthesized as a highly glycosylated precursor transported by mannose-6-phosphate receptors to lysosomes, where it undergoes proteolytic maturation. This review summarizes recent progress in understanding of TPP I biology and molecular pathology of the CLN2 disease process, including distribution of the enzyme, its biosynthesis, glycosylation, transport and activation, as well as catalytic mechanisms and their potential implications for pathogenesis and treatment of the underlying disease. Promising data from gene and stem cell therapy in laboratory animals raise hope that CLN2 will be the first neurodegenerative LSD for which causative treatment will become available for humans.