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Vacuoles and their mammalian counterparts, lysosomes, are membrane-bound cytoplasmic organelles that contain an assortment of soluble acid-dependent hydrolases and a set of highly glycosylated integral membrane proteins. Most notably, this organelle is an important site for the degradation of cellular lipids, membrane-associated proteins, and cytoplasmic proteins. In addition to its degradative functions, the vacuole/lysosome plays important roles in pH and ion homeostasis, nutrient storage, protein quality control, the innate immune pathway, and stress signaling responses. Accordingly, mis-regulation of lysosomal function has been implicated in several aspects of human disease, including neurodegenerative diseases.




Stefan, C. J., Henne, W. M., & Emr, S. D. (2013). Vacuoles. In Encyclopedia of Biological Chemistry: Second Edition (pp. 331–336). Elsevier Inc.

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