Our Research

The lysosome is emerging as a central hub for maintaining cellular homeostasis and orchestrating the stress response. A malfunctioning lysosomal response to cellular stress can lead to cell death and, ultimately, dysfunction in organs or tissues. Lysosomal dynamics encompass the dynamic processes involved in the movement, positioning, and upkeep of lysosomes within a cell. A comprehensive grasp of lysosomal dynamics is imperative for understanding how cells regulate their internal milieu and adapt to diverse cellular and environmental stimuli.

Lysosomal tubules seen with an Electron Microscope (left) and rendered in 3D highlighting a microtubule and the endoplasmic reticulum.

Lysosomal dynamics play a central role in the context of neurodegenerative diseases. Numerous neurodegenerative disorders are linked to lysosomal dysfunction and irregularities in lysosomal dynamics, including Parkinson’s disease (PD), Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). 

In the Bonet-Ponce laboratory,

our primary focus revolves around unraveling the intricacies of lysosomal functionality, particularly its response to cellular stress. Our research blends genetic insights with cell biology to investigate lysosomal proteins associated with an elevated risk of neurodegenerative diseases. We delve into their roles, probing the impact of pathogenic mutations on their function and the broader cellular landscape.

Recognizing and delving into lysosomal dynamics is not only fundamental to the field of cell biology but also holds promising potential for the development of therapies aimed at addressing diseases rooted in lysosomal dysfunction.

Microtubules in a live cell