Oligodendroglial inclusion bodies characterize a subset of neurodegenerative diseases. Multiple system atrophy (MSA) is characterized by α-synuclein glial cytoplasmic inclusions and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is associated with glial tau inclusions. The ubiquitin homologue, SUMO-1, has been identified in inclusion bodies in MSA, located in discrete sub-domains in α-synuclein-positive inclusions. We investigated SUMO-1 associated with oligodendroglial inclusion bodies in brain tissue from MSA and PSP and in glial cell models. We examined MSA and PSP cases and compared to age-matched normal controls. Fluorescence immunohistochemistry revealed frequent SUMO-1 sub-domains within and surrounding inclusions bodies in both diseases and showed punctate co-localization of SUMO-1 and the lysosomal marker, cathepsin D, in affected brain regions. Cell counting data revealed that 70-75 % of lysosomes in inclusion body-positive oligodendrocytes were SUMO-1-positive consistently across MSA and PSP cases, compared to 20 % in neighbouring inclusion body negative oligodendrocytes and 10 % in normal brain tissue. Hsp90 co-localized with some SUMO-1 puncta. We examined the SUMO-1 status of lysosomes in 1321N1 human glioma cells over-expressing α-synuclein and in immortalized rat oligodendrocyte cells over-expressing the four repeat form of tau following treatment with the proteasome inhibitor, MG132. We also transfected 1321N1 cells with the inherently aggregation-prone huntingtin exon 1 mutant, HttQ74-GFP. Each cell model showed the association of SUMO-1-positive lysosomes around focal cytoplasmic accumulations of α-synuclein, tau or HttQ74-GFP, respectively. Association of SUMO-1 with lysosomes was also detected in glial cells bearing α-synuclein aggregates in a rotenone-lesioned rat model. SUMO-1 labelling of lysosomes showed a major increase between 24 and 48 h post-incubation of 1321N1 cells with MG132 resulting in an increase in a 90 kDa SUMO-1-positive band that was immunopositive for Hsp90 and immunoprecipitated with an anti-SUMO-1 antibody. That SUMO-1 co-localizes with a subset of lysosomes in neurodegenerative diseases with glial protein aggregates and in glial cell culture models of protein aggregation suggests a role for SUMO-1 in lysosome function.