The role of lysosomal ion channels in lysosome dysfunction

Rebekah L. Kendall, Andrij Holian

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Lysosomes offer a unique arrangement of degradative, exocytic, and signaling capabilities that make their continued function critical to cellular homeostasis. Lysosomes owe their function to the activity of lysosomal ion channels and transporters, which maintain concentration gradients of H+, K+, Ca2+, Na+, and Cl across the lysosomal membrane. This review examines the contributions of lysosomal ion channels to lysosome function, showing how ion channel function is integral to degradation and autophagy, maintaining lysosomal membrane potential, controlling Ca2+ signaling, and facilitating exocytosis. Evidence of lysosome dysfunction in a variety of disease pathologies creates a need to understand how lysosomal ion channels contribute to lysosome dysfunction. For example, the loss of function of the TRPML1 Ca2+ lysosome channel in multiple lysosome storage diseases leads to lysosome dysfunction and disease pathogenesis while neurodegenerative diseases are marked by lysosome dysfunction caused by changes in ion channel activity through the TRPML1, TPC, and TMEM175 ion channels. Autoimmune disease is marked by dysregulated autophagy, which is dependent on the function of multiple lysosomal ion channels. Understanding the role of lysosomal ion channel activity in lysosome membrane permeability and NLRP3 inflammasome activation could provide valuable mechanistic insight into NLRP3 inflammasome-mediated diseases. Finally, this review seeks to show that understanding the role of lysosomal ion channels in lysosome dysfunction could give mechanistic insight into the efficacy of certain drug classes, specifically those that target the lysosome, such as cationic amphiphilic drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-54
Number of pages14
JournalInhalation Toxicology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021


  • BK
  • Lysosome
  • NLRP3
  • TMEM175
  • TRPML1
  • autophagy
  • crystalline silica
  • lysosomal membrane permeability


Dive into the research topics of 'The role of lysosomal ion channels in lysosome dysfunction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this