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Abstract

In specialized cell types, lysosome-related organelles support regulated secretory pathways, whereas in nonspecialized cells, lysosomes can undergo fusion with the plasma membrane in response to a transient rise in cytosolic calcium. Recent evidence also indicates that lysosome secretion can be controlled transcriptionally and promote clearance in lysosome storage diseases. In addition, evidence is also accumulating that low concentrations of cyclodextrins reduce the cholesterol-storage phenotype in cells and animals with the cholesterol storage disease Niemann-Pick type C, via an unknown mechanism. Here, we report that cyclodextrin triggers the secretion of the endo/lysosomal content in nonspecialized cells and that this mechanism is responsible for the decreased cholesterol overload in Niemann-Pick type C cells. We also find that the secretion of the endo/lysosome content occurs via a mechanism dependent on the endosomal calcium channel mucolipin-1, as well as FYCO1, the AP1 adaptor, and its partner Gadkin. We conclude that endo-lysosomes in nonspecialized cells can acquire secretory functions elicited by cyclodextrin and that this pathway is responsible for the decrease in cholesterol storage in Niemann-Pick C cells.

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