Although numerous polymorphisms have been associated with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), identifying the function of these genetic factors has proved challenging. Here we identified a role for nine genes in IBD susceptibility loci in antibacterial autophagy and characterized a role for one of these genes, GPR65, in maintaining lysosome function. Mice lacking Gpr65, a proton-sensing G protein-coupled receptor, showed increased susceptibly to bacteria-induced colitis. Epithelial cells and macrophages lacking GPR65 exhibited impaired clearance of intracellular bacteria and accumulation of aberrant lysosomes. Similarly, IBD patient cells and epithelial cells expressing an IBD-associated missense variant, GPR65 I231L, displayed aberrant lysosomal pH resulting in lysosomal dysfunction, impaired bacterial restriction, and altered lipid droplet formation. The GPR65 I231L polymorphism was sufficient to confer decreased GPR65 signaling. Collectively, these data establish a role for GPR65 in IBD susceptibility and identify lysosomal dysfunction as a potentially causative element in IBD pathogenesis with effects on cellular homeostasis and defense.
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