Lysosomes serve as the cellular recycling centre and are filled with numerous hydrolases that can degrade most cellular macromolecules. Lysosomal membrane permeabilization and the consequent leakage of the lysosomal content into the cytosol leads to so-called "lysosomal cell death". This form of cell death is mainly carried out by the lysosomal cathepsin proteases and can have necrotic, apoptotic or apoptosis-like features depending on the extent of the leakage and the cellular context. This article summarizes our current knowledge on lysosomal cell death with an emphasis on the upstream mechanisms that lead to lysosomal membrane permeabilization.
Journal of Cell Science, 2013, Vol 126, Issue Pt 9, p. 1905-12