The transient receptor potential cation channel mucolipin 1 (TRPML1) channel is a conduit for lysosomal calcium efflux, and channel activity may be affected by lysosomal contents. The lysosomes of retinal pigmented epithelial (RPE) cells are particularly susceptible to build-up of lysosomal waste products because they must degrade the outer segments phagocytosed daily from adjacent photoreceptors; incomplete degradation leads to accumulation of lipid waste in lysosomes. This study asks whether stimulation of TRPML1 can release lysosomal calcium in RPE cells and whether such release is affected by lysosomal accumulations. The TRPML agonist ML-SA1 raised cytoplasmic calcium levels in mouse RPE cells, hesRPE cells, and ARPE-19 cells; this increase was rapid, robust, reversible, and reproducible. The increase was not altered by extracellular calcium removal or by thapsigargin but was eliminated by lysosomal rupture with glycyl-l-phenylalanine-β-naphthylamide. Treatment with desipramine to inhibit acid sphingomyelinase or YM201636 to inhibit PIKfyve also reduced the cytoplasmic calcium increase triggered by ML-SA1, whereas RPE cells from TRPML1-/- mice showed no response to ML-SA1. Cotreatment with chloroquine and U18666A induced formation of neutral, autofluorescent lipid in RPE lysosomes and decreased lysosomal Ca2+ release. Lysosomal Ca2+ release was also impaired in RPE cells from the ATP-binding cassette, subfamily A, member 4-/- mouse model of Stargardt's retinal dystrophy. Neither TRPML1 mRNA nor total lysosomal calcium levels were altered in these models, suggesting a more direct effect on the channel. In summary, stimulation of TRPML1 elevates cytoplasmic calcium levels in RPE cells, but this response is reduced by lysosomal accumulation.-Gómez, N. M., Lu, W. Lim, J. C., Kiselyov, K., Campagno, K. E., Grishchuk, Y., Slaugenhaupt, S. A., Pfeffer, B., Fliesler, S. J., Mitchell, C. H. Robust lysosomal calcium signaling through channel TRPML1 is impaired by lysosomal lipid accumulation.