When many ligands bind to cell-surface receptors, ligand-receptor complexes are internalized via clathrin coated pits by a process called receptor-mediated endocytosis1,2. The cytoplasmic fate of ligands internalized within endocytic vesicles or endosomes is variable. For example, maternal immunoglobulins are transported through the cytoplasm of neonatal intestinal epithelial cells and are exocytosed at the basolateral surface3. However, other ligands are degraded as a result of their delivery to the lysosomal compartment of cells2,4-6. Although the translocation of endosomes to the Golgi region in the cell centre seems to be a general phenomenon presumably coupled to ligand degradation by lysosomes7,8 and endosomes and lysosomes undergo saltatory movements within the cytoplasm8,9, the spatial control of interaction between the two structures is not understood. To address this problem we have begun to examine the spatial and temporal intracellular distribution of endosomes and lysosomes. Utilizing a new fluorescent microscopic approach10, we have now been able simultaneously to visualize endosome and lysosome populations in living cells. Our results suggest that a specific relocation of lysosomes is rapidly induced upon binding of different types of ligands to the cell surface; this migration of lysosomes to the Golgi region of the cell precedes the translocation of endosomes into the same area.