Multiple pathways of protein degradation operate within cells. A selective protein import pathway exists for the uptake and degradation of particular cytosolic proteins by lysosomes. Here, the lysosomal membrane glycoprotein LGP96 was identified as a receptor for the selective import and degradation of proteins within lysosomes. Specific substrates of this proteolytic pathway bound to the cytosolic tail of a 96-kilodalton lysosomal membrane protein in two different binding assays. Overexpression of human LGP96 in Chinese hamster ovary cells increased the activity of the selective lysosomal proteolytic pathway in vivo and in vitro.
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