Polypeptide Release from Lysosomes

  • Lois Isenman


Lysosomes are specialized digestion organelles within the cell capable of degrading the entire range of cellular molecules. In addition to degrading cellular material, lysosomes also degrade extracellular material delivered by the vacuolar system compartment. Cell fractionation studies with rat liver in the 1950s identified acid-hydrolase activity that was enhanced by procedures that disrupt membrane structure.1 Later, with the electron microscope the hydrolase activity was shown to correlate with an electron-dense organelle in the cytospasm bounded by a single membrane.2 Lysosomes are heterogeneous in appearance (Fig. 5.1), and identification of electron dense cytoplasmic structures as lysosomes depended initially on microscopic cytochemical indications of the presence of specific hydrolases.3 Currently, lysosomes are identified immunocytochemically, using antibodies to specific hydrolases or membrane marker, such as LGP 120.4


Peptide Antigen Lysosomal Membrane Intact Protein Ubiquitin Conjugate Degradation Fragment 
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© R.G. Landes Company 1996

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  • Lois Isenman

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