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Science : a weekly journal devoted to the advancement of science / American Association for the Advancement of Science
Mammalian cells can generate amino acids through macropinocytosis and lysosomal breakdown of extracellular proteins, which is exploited by cancer cells to grow in nutrient-poor tumors. Here, through genetic screens in defined nutrient conditions we characterized LYSET, a transmembrane protein (TMEM251) selectively required when cells consume extracellular proteins. LYSET was found to associate in the Golgi with GlcNAc-1-phosphotransferase, which targets catabolic enzymes to lysosomes through mannose-6-phosphate modification. Without LYSET, GlcNAc-1-phosphotransferase was unstable owing to a hydrophilic transmembrane domain. Consequently, LYSET-deficient cells were depleted of lysosomal enzymes and impaired in turnover of macropinocytic and autophagic cargoes. Thus, LYSET represents a core component of the lysosomal enzyme trafficking pathway, underlies the pathomechanism for hereditary lysosomal storage disorders, and may represent a target to suppress metabolic adaptations in cancer.