Current methods to analyse lysosome morphology, positioning, motility and function

Duarte C Barral, Leopoldo Staiano, Cláudia Guimas Almeida, Dan F Cutler, Emily R Eden, Clare E Futter, Antony Galione, André R A Marques, Diego Luis Medina, Gennaro Napolitano, Carmine Settembre, Otília V Vieira, Johannes M F G Aerts, Peace Atakpa-Adaji, Gemma Bruno, Antonella Capuozzo, Elvira De Leonibus, Chiara Di Malta, Cristina Escrevente, Alessandra EspositoPaolo Grumati, Michael J Hall, Rita O Teodoro, Susana S Lopes, J Paul Luzio, Jlenia Monfregola, Sandro Montefusco, Frances M Platt, Roman Polishuck, Maria De Risi, Irene Sambri, Chiara Soldati, Miguel C Seabra

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)
25 Downloads (Pure)


Since the discovery of lysosomes more than 70 years ago, much has been learned about the functions of these organelles. Lysosomes were regarded as exclusively degradative organelles, but more recent research has revealed that they play essential roles in several other cellular functions, such as nutrient sensing, intracellular signalling, and metabolism. Methodological advances played a key part in generating our current knowledge about the biology of this multifaceted organelle. In this review, we cover current methods used to analyse lysosome morphology, positioning, motility, and function. We highlight the principles behind these methods, the methodological strategies, and their advantages and limitations. To extract accurate information and avoid misinterpretations, we discuss the best strategies to identify lysosomes and assess their characteristics and functions. With this review, we aim to stimulate an increase in the quantity and quality of research on lysosomes and further ground-breaking discoveries on an organelle that continues to surprise and excite cell biologists.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-269
Issue number5
Early online date28 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


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