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. 2008 Nov;1780(11):1291-303.
doi: 10.1016/j.bbagen.2008.01.009. Epub 2008 Jan 26.

Lysosomes and Oxidative Stress in Aging and Apoptosis


Lysosomes and Oxidative Stress in Aging and Apoptosis

Tino Kurz et al. Biochim Biophys Acta. .


The lysosomal compartment consists of numerous acidic vesicles (pH approximately 4-5) that constantly fuse and divide. It receives a large number of hydrolases from the trans-Golgi network, while their substrates arrive from both the cell's outside (heterophagy) and inside (autophagy). Many macromolecules under degradation inside lysosomes contain iron that, when released in labile form, makes lysosomes sensitive to oxidative stress. The magnitude of generated lysosomal destabilization determines if reparative autophagy, apoptosis, or necrosis will follow. Apart from being an essential turnover process, autophagy is also a mechanism for cells to repair inflicted damage, and to survive temporary starvation. The inevitable diffusion of hydrogen peroxide into iron-rich lysosomes causes the slow oxidative formation of lipofuscin in long-lived postmitotic cells, where it finally occupies a substantial part of the volume of the lysosomal compartment. This seems to result in a misdirection of lysosomal enzymes away from autophagosomes, resulting in depressed autophagy and the accumulation of malfunctioning mitochondria and proteins with consequent cellular dysfunction. This scenario might put aging into the category of autophagy disorders.

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