Impact of lysosome status on extracellular vesicle content and release

Erez Eitan, Caitlin Suire, Shi Zhang, Mark P. Mattson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are nanoscale size bubble-like membranous structures released from cells. EVs contain RNA, lipids and proteins and are thought to serve various roles including intercellular communication and removal of misfolded proteins. The secretion of misfolded and aggregated proteins in EVs may be a cargo disposal alternative to the autophagy-lysosomal and ubiquitin-proteasome pathways. In this review we will discuss the importance of lysosome functionality for the regulation of EV secretion and content. Exosomes are a subtype of EVs that are released by the fusion of multivesicular bodies (MVB) with the plasma membrane. MVBs can also fuse with lysosomes, and the trafficking pathway of MVBs can therefore determine whether or not exosomes are released from cells. Here we summarize data from studies of the effects of lysosome inhibition on the secretion of EVs and on the possibility that cells compensate for lysosome malfunction by disposal of potentially toxic cargos in EVs. A better understanding of the molecular mechanisms that regulate trafficking of MVBs to lysosomes and the plasma membrane may advance an understanding of diseases in which pathogenic proteins, lipids or infectious agents accumulate within or outside of cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAgeing Research Reviews
StateAccepted/In press - Feb 17 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Niemann pick disease
  • Parkinson's disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Biochemistry
  • Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Neurology


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