from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A membrane-bound organelle in the cytoplasm of most cells containing various hydrolytic enzymes that function in intracellular digestion.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. An organelle found in all types of animal cells which contains a large range of digestive enzymes capable of splitting most biological macromolecules.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. an organelle found in the cytoplasm of most cells (especially in leukocytes and liver and kidney cells)
With their modification, which they call the lysosome patch clamp, the researchers determined that a protein called TRPML1 serves as the calcium channel in lysosomes and that a lipid known as PI (3,5) P2 carries the signal that activates the protein.
With their modification, which they call the lysosome patch clamp, Xu's group was able to record TRPML1 activity in the tiny lysosome.
"This gene is involved in a process where the waste products of the cell are removed from the cell and processed in something called a lysosome, which is kind of the garbage can of the cell, the organelle that takes all the waste out of the cell and processes it so the cell doesn't poison itself," explained Marion.
Through a process with the expressive name of autophagy, or "self-eating," cells create specialized membranes that engulf junk in the cell's cytoplasm and carry it to a part of the cell known as the lysosome, where the trash is broken apart and then burned by the cell for energy.
The three genes play a role in steering enzymes to a cell structure called the lysosome where the enzymes break down and recycle cellular components.
The enzyme functions in a part of the cell called the lysosome, where cellular components are broken down, or metabolized, for recycling.
Dr. Nixon says he and his colleagues were able to prevent cognitive decline in the animals by improving the functioning of the enzymes in the lysosome so that the waste proteins were degraded and processed faster.
In some cases, they are trying to increase the activities of certain enzymes in the lysosome that help degrade the waste products.
Moreover, a better understanding of how the lysosome functions could lead to treatments for other maladies, such as Huntington's disease and Niemann-Pick Type C.
Researchers are trying different approaches to target the lysosome as a possible treatment for Alzheimer's and other diseases.
Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.