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Summary

The secretory lysosomes found in haemopoietic cells provide a very efficient mechanism for delivering the effector proteins of many immune cells in response to antigen recognition. Although secretion shows some similarities to the secretion of specialized granules in other secretory cell types, some aspects of secretory lysosome release appear to be unique to melanocytes and cells of the haemopoietic lineage. Mast cells and platelets have provided excellent models for studying secretion, but recent advances in characterizing the immunological synapse allow a very fine dissection of the secretory process in T lymphocytes. These studies show that secretory lysosomes are secreted from the centre of the talin ring at the synapse. Proper secretion requires a series of Rab and cytoskeletal elements which play critical roles in the specialized secretion of lysosomes in haemopoietic cells.