Many weakly basic, lipophilic drugs accumulate in lysosomes and exert complex, pleiotropic effects on organelle structure and function. Thus, modeling how perturbations of lysosomal physiology affect the maintenance of lysosomal ion homeostasis is necessary to elucidate the key factors which determine the toxicological effects of lysosomotropic agents, in a cell-type dependent manner. Accordingly, a physiologically-based mathematical modeling and simulation approach was used to explore the dynamic, multi-parameter phenomenon of lysosomal stress. With this approach, parameters that are either directly involved in lysosomal ion transportation or lysosomal morphology were transiently altered to investigate their downstream effects on lysosomal physiology reflected by the changes they induce in lysosomal pH, chloride, and membrane potential. In addition, combinations of parameters were simultaneously altered to assess which parameter was most critical for recovery of normal lysosomal physiology. Lastly, to explore the relationship between organelle morphology and induced stress, we investigated the effects of parameters controlling organelle geometry on the restoration of normal lysosomal physiology following a transient perturbation. Collectively, our results indicate a key, interdependent role of V-ATPase number and membrane proton permeability in lysosomal stress tolerance. This suggests that the cell-type dependent regulation of V-ATPase subunit expression and turnover, together with the proton permeability properties of the lysosomal membrane, is critical to understand the differential sensitivity or resistance of different cell types to the toxic effects of lysosomotropic drugs.
Woldemichael, T., & Rosania, G. R. (2017). The physiological determinants of drug-induced lysosomal stress resistance. PLoS ONE, 12(11). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0187627