Departmental Papers (Dental)

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Cross-reactions between innate immunity, lysosomal function, and purinergic pathways may link signaling systems in cellular pathologies. We found activation of toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) triggers lysosomal ATP release from both astrocytes and retinal pigmented epithelial (RPE) cells. ATP efflux was accompanied by lysosomal acid phosphatase and beta hexosaminidase release. Poly(I:C) alkalinized lysosomes, and lysosomal alkalization with bafilomycin or chloroquine triggered ATP release. Lysosomal rupture with glycyl-L-phenylalanine-2-naphthylamide (GPN) eliminated both ATP and acid phosphatase release. Secretory lysosome marker LAMP3 colocalized with VNUT, while MANT-ATP colocalized with LysoTracker. Unmodified membrane-impermeant 21-nt and “non-targeting” scrambled 21-nt siRNA triggered ATP and acid phosphatase release, while smaller 16-nt RNA was ineffective. Poly(I:C)-dependent ATP release was reduced by TBK-1 block and in TRPML1−/− cells, while TRPML activation with ML-SA1 was sufficient to release both ATP and acid phosphatase. The ability of poly(I:C) to raise cytoplasmic Ca2+ was abolished by removing extracellular ATP with apyrase, suggesting ATP release by poly(I:C) increased cellular signaling. Starvation but not rapamycin prevented lysosomal ATP release. In summary, stimulation of TLR3 triggers lysosomal alkalization and release of lysosomal ATP through activation of TRPML1; this links innate immunity to purinergic signaling via lysosomal physiology, and suggests even scrambled siRNA can influence these pathways.

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This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in [Scientific Reports]. The final authenticated version is available online at:

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Date Posted: 01 March 2022

This document has been peer reviewed.