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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter January 20, 2023

The role of lysosomes in lipid homeostasis

  • Florian Fröhlich ORCID logo EMAIL logo and Ayelén González Montoro ORCID logo EMAIL logo
From the journal Biological Chemistry


Lipids function as the major building blocks of cellular membranes, as signaling molecules and as energy stores for metabolism. These important functions require a precise regulation of lipid biosynthesis, transport, turnover and storage. Lipids are exchanged among organelles through a sophisticated network of vesicular and non-vesicular transport routes. Lysosomes, as the main catabolic organelle, are at the center of this network and have recently evolved as one of the master-regulators of cellular lipid metabolism. Lipids from both endogenous and exogenous sources can be processed, sensed and sorted in and out of the lysosome. In this review, we focus on the role of the lysosome in lipid catabolism, transport and signaling. We highlight recent discoveries on the transport of lipids out of the lysosomal lumen and their exchange with other organelles via membrane contact sites. We also discuss the direct role of lysosomal lipids in the TORC1 signaling pathway, a regulator of cellular metabolism. Finally, we address lysosomal biogenesis, its role in the sorting of lipid metabolic enzymes and the dysregulation of these processes in disease.

Corresponding authors: Florian Fröhlich, Department of Biology/Chemistry, Bioanalytical Chemistry Section, Osnabrück University, Barbarastraße 13, D-49076 Osnabrück, Germany; and Center of Cellular Nanoanalytics (CellNanOs), Osnabrück University, Barbarastraße 11, D-49076 Osnabrück, Germany, E-mail: ; and Ayelén González Montoro, Center of Cellular Nanoanalytics (CellNanOs), Osnabrück University, Barbarastraße 11, D-49076 Osnabrück, Germany; and Department of Biology/Chemistry, Cellular Communication Laboratory, Osnabrück University, Barbarastraße 13, D-49076 Osnabrück, Germany, E-mail:

Award Identifier / Grant number: SFB944 P20 and P24


We thank members of the Fröhlich and González Montoro labs for critical comments on the manuscript.

  1. Author contributions: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.

  2. Research funding: This work was funded by DFG (SFB 944, project P20 to F.F., project P24 to A.G.M.).

  3. Conflict of interest statement: The authors declare no conflicts of interest regarding this article.


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Received: 2022-09-23
Accepted: 2023-01-03
Published Online: 2023-01-20
Published in Print: 2023-04-25

© 2023 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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