Regulation of Lamp2a levels in the lysosomal membrane

A. M. Cuervo, J. F. Dice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

219 Scopus citations


The selective degradation of cytosolic proteins in lysosomes by chaperone-mediated autophagy depends, at least in part, on the levels of a substrate receptor at the lysosomal membrane. We have previously identified this receptor as the lysosome-associated membrane protein type 2a (lamp2a) and showed that levels of lamp2a at the lysosomal membrane directly correlate with the activity of the proteolytic pathway. Here we show that levels of lamp2a at the lysosomal membrane are mainly controlled by changes in its half-life and its distribution between the lysosomal membrane and the matrix. The lysosomal degradation of lamp2a requires the combined action of at least two different proteolytic activities at the lysosomal membrane. Lamp2a is released from the membrane by the action of these proteases, and then the truncated lamp2a is rapidly degraded within the lysosomal matrix. Membrane degradation of lamp2a is a regulated process that is inhibited in the presence of substrates for chaperone-mediated autophagy and under conditions that activate that type of autophagy. Uptake of substrate proteins also results in transport of some intact lamp2a from the lysosomal membrane into the matrix. This fraction of lamp2a can be reinserted back into the lysosomal membrane. The traffic of lamp2a through the lysosomal matrix is not mediated by vesicles, and lamp2a reinsertion requires the lysosomal membrane potential and protein components of the lysosomal membrane. The distribution of lamp2a between the lysosomal membrane and matrix is a dynamic process that contributes to the regulation of lysosomal membrane levels of lamp2a and consequently to the activity of the chaperone-mediated autophagic pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)570-583
Number of pages14
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Lysosomes
  • Membrane protein
  • Molecular chaperones
  • Protein cleavage
  • Protein degradation
  • Protein trafficking
  • Rat liver

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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