Lysosomal adaptation: how the lysosome responds to external cues

Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2014 May 5;6(6):a016907. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a016907.


Recent evidence indicates that the importance of the lysosome in cell metabolism and organism physiology goes far beyond the simple disposal of cellular garbage. This dynamic organelle is situated at the crossroad of the most important cellular pathways and is involved in sensing, signaling, and transcriptional mechanisms that respond to environmental cues, such as nutrients. Two main mediators of these lysosomal adaptation mechanisms are the mTORC1 kinase complex and the transcription factor EB (TFEB). These two factors are linked in a lysosome-to-nucleus signaling pathway that provides the lysosome with the ability to adapt to extracellular cues and control its own biogenesis. Modulation of lysosomal function by acting on TFEB has a profound impact on cellular clearance and energy metabolism and is a promising therapeutic target for a large variety of disease conditions.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lysosomes / metabolism
  • Lysosomes / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors
  • TFEB protein, human