The lysosome (or vacuole in fungi and plants) is an essential organelle responsible for the digestion and recycling of intracellular materials delivered by endomembrane trafficking and autophagy. It also plays an important role in intracellular signal transduction by regulating the localization and activity of the mTOR signaling complex. Not surprisingly, lysosome dysfunction leads to ~ 70 different lysosomal storage diseases (LSDs) and contributes to aging-related neurodegenerative, muscular dystrophy, and cardiovascular diseases.
We are fascinated by everything related to the lysosome. In our lab, we want to understand how it is born(biogenesis) and how it is regulated to stay functional (quality control). We are also curious about how lysosome communicates with other organelles. Currently, we are working on these questions using budding yeast, human cancer cell lines, and vertebrate animal models.