Signals from the lysosome: a control centre for cellular clearance and energy metabolism

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2013 May;14(5):283-96. doi: 10.1038/nrm3565.


For a long time, lysosomes were considered merely to be cellular 'incinerators' involved in the degradation and recycling of cellular waste. However, now there is compelling evidence indicating that lysosomes have a much broader function and that they are involved in fundamental processes such as secretion, plasma membrane repair, signalling and energy metabolism. Furthermore, the essential role of lysosomes in autophagic pathways puts these organelles at the crossroads of several cellular processes, with significant implications for health and disease. The identification of a master regulator, transcription factor EB (TFEB), that regulates lysosomal biogenesis and autophagy has revealed how the lysosome adapts to environmental cues, such as starvation, and targeting TFEB may provide a novel therapeutic strategy for modulating lysosomal function in human disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lysosomes / metabolism
  • Lysosomes / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction