Lysosomes are membrane-bound cell organelles that respond to nutrient changes and are implicated in cell homeostasis and clearance mechanisms, allowing effective adaptation to specific cellular needs. The relevance of the lysosome has been elucidated in a number of different contexts. Of these, the retina represents an interesting scenario to appreciate the various functions of this organelle in both physiological and pathological conditions. Growing evidence suggests a role for lysosome-related mechanisms in retinal degeneration. Abnormal lysosomal activation or inhibition has dramatic consequences on photoreceptor cell homeostasis and impacts extensive cellular function, which in turn affects vision. Based on these findings, a series of therapeutic methods targeting lysosomal processes could offer treatment for blindness conditions. Here, we review the recent findings on membrane trafficking, subcellular organization, mechanisms by which lysosome/autophagy pathway impairment affects photoreceptor cell homeostasis and the recent advances on developing efficient lysosomal-based therapies for retinal disorders.
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