2003 Volume 28 Issue 5 Pages 455-463
Mammals contain various cells differentiated in both morphology and function, which play vital roles in tissue-specific functions. Late endosome/lysosome and lysosomal-related organelles are involved in these specialized functions including antigen presentation, bone remodeling and hormone regulation. To fulfill these diverse roles, lysosomes are present at different levels in different tissues and cell types; however, their morphology within these different tissues varies and the regulation of their activities differs with lysosomal compartments in some cells also functioning as secretory compartments. The luminal acidification of these organelles is closely correlated with their functions. This review will discuss the functions of lysosomes and lysosomal-related organelles, with particular emphasis on the major proton pump, the vacuolar-type proton ATPase (V-ATPase), which is responsible for luminal acidification.