24 January 2017
Lysosomes, the major membrane-bound degradative organelles, have a multitude of functions in eukaryotic cells. Lysosomes are the terminal compartments in the endocytic pathway, though they display highly dynamic behaviors, fusing with each other and with late endosomes in the endocytic pathway, and with the plasma membrane during regulated exocytosis and for wound repair. After fusing with late endosomes, lysosomes are reformed from the resulting hybrid organelles through a process that involves budding of a nascent lysosome, extension of the nascent lysosome from the hybrid organelle, while remaining connected by a membrane bridge, and scission of the membrane bridge to release the newly formed lysosome. The newly formed lysosomes undergo cycles of homotypic fusion and fission reactions to form mature lysosomes. In this study, we used a forward genetic screen in Caenorhabditis elegans to identify six regulators of lysosome biology. We show that these proteins function in different steps of lysosome biology, regulating lysosome formation, lysosome fusion, and lysosome degradation.