Vangl2 limits chaperone-mediated autophagy to balance osteogenic differentiation in mesenchymal stem cells

Dev Cell. 2021 Jul 26;56(14):2103-2120.e9. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2021.06.011. Epub 2021 Jul 1.


Lysosomes are the recycling center and nutrient signaling hub of the cell. Here, we show that lysosomes also control mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) differentiation by proteomic reprogramming. The chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) lysosome subgroup promotes osteogenesis, while suppressing adipogenesis, by selectively removing osteogenesis-deterring factors, especially master transcriptional factors, such as adipogenic TLE3, ZNF423, and chondrogenic SOX9. The activity of the CMA-committed lysosomes in MSCs are controlled by Van-Gogh-like 2 (Vangl2) at lysosomes. Vangl2 directly binds to lysosome-associated membrane protein 2A (LAMP-2A) and targets it for degradation. MSC-specific Vangl2 ablation in mice increases LAMP-2A expression and CMA-lysosome numbers, promoting bone formation while reducing marrow fat. The Vangl2:LAMP-2A ratio in MSCs correlates inversely with the capacity of the cells for osteoblastic differentiation in humans and mice. These findings demonstrate a critical role for lysosomes in MSC lineage acquisition and establish Vangl2-LAMP-2A signaling as a critical control mechanism.

Keywords: LAMP-2A; MSC; Vangl2; autophagy; lysosome; osteoblast; osteogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipogenesis
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation*
  • Chaperone-Mediated Autophagy*
  • Chondrogenesis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lysosomal-Associated Membrane Protein 2 / genetics
  • Lysosomal-Associated Membrane Protein 2 / metabolism
  • Lysosomes / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Molecular Chaperones
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / physiology*
  • Osteogenesis*
  • Osteoporosis / pathology
  • Osteoporosis / therapy


  • Ltap protein, mouse
  • Lysosomal-Associated Membrane Protein 2
  • Molecular Chaperones
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins