Lysosomes prove to be quick-change artists

Lysosomes play an important role in cells and tissues, controlling not only the degradation of substances but also cell division and growth. A team led by Professor Volker Haucke and Dr. Michael Ebner at the FMP has investigated how these two functions are related to nutrient availability in the cell. The researchers were able to show for the first time that lysosomes undergo a massive transformation. A signaling lipid acts as a switch between the two states. The findings, published in the journal Cell, could be used to develop drugs that specifically stimulate cells from patients with neurodegenerative or metabolic diseases to break down harmful protein molecules inside the cell.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft