The two structurally related, major lysosomal membrane proteins LAMP-1 and LAMP-2 were for a long time regarded as crucial for the protection of the lysosomal membrane from the hostile lumenal environment. However, recent studies on the effects of single and combined LAMP-deficiency in mice reveal alternative functions. LAMP proteins, but especially LAMP-2, are important regulators in successful maturation of both autophagosomes and phagosomes. LAMP-2 deficiency causes an accumulation of autophagosomes in many tissues leading to cardiomyopathy and myopathy in mice and patients suffering from Danon Disease. The central role of LAMP-2 is also underlined by a recent study where LAMP-2 knockout mice are shown to have an impaired phagosomal maturation in neutrophils. The impairment of this important innate immune defense process in these mice leads to periodontitis, one of the most widespread infectious diseases worldwide. The retarded clearance of bacterial pathogens was probably due to an inefficient fusion capacity between lysosomes and phagosomes. Recent studies in LAMP double-knockout fibroblasts suggests that LAMP-deficiency impairs the dynein-mediated transport of lysosomes to perinuclear regions where fusion with (auto)phagosomes occurs.
Addendum to: Beertsen W, Willenborg M, Everts V, Zirogianni A, Podschun R, Schroder B, Eskelinen EL, Saftig P. Impaired phagosomal maturation in neutrophils leads to periodontitis in lysosomal- associated membrane protein-2 knockout mice. J Immunol 2008; 180:475-82.Full Text Options