Cell Vitality

Communications between a cell’s energizer – mitochondria – and its recycler – lysosomes – regulate cell senescence.

Vitality declines with age among most animals. An organism’s energetic posture originates with cellular state.

That mitochondria, which power cells, dominate the pace of cell activity is unsurprising. But where these organelles take their cue for a cell’s vigor is unexpectable.

Lysosomes are spherical vesicles that enzymatically break down biomolecules for reuse or disposal. This recycling is a sophisticated process, involving 60 distinct types of enzymes and over 50 different specialized membrane proteins which exercise quality control and regulate passage of materials.

“The lysosome talks with the mitochondria through special fats essential to mitochondrial activity,” reports American cytologist Adam Antebi. These communications determine mitochondrial enthusiasm for metabolism. “What is striking is the dominant role of interorganellar communication in regulating mitochondrial function,” marvels Antebi.


Rebecca George Tharyan et al, “NFYB-1 regulates mitochondrial function and longevity via lysosomal prosaposin,” Nature Metabolism (18 May 2020).

Subcellular chatter regulates longevity,” ScienceDaily (19 May 2020).