LAMP2A mediates the loading of proteins into endosomes and selects exosomal cargo

Autophagy. 2022 Jun 27;1-3. doi: 10.1080/15548627.2022.2092315. Online ahead of print.


Exosomes are a subtype of extracellular vesicles (EVs), released by all cell types, that originate from the invagination of the endosomal limiting membrane. These EVs can transport biological information in the form of proteins and RNA and have been the focus of intensive research over the last decade. It is becoming apparent that EVs can have important roles in health and disease. EVs are also promising noninvasive biomarkers of disease (liquid biopsies) and valuable vectors for innovative therapies. However, little is known about the mechanisms that regulate the loading of cytosolic proteins into exosomes. We recently showed that soluble proteins containing amino acid sequences biochemically related to the KFERQ motif are loaded into nascent exosomes at the endosomal limiting membrane, in a process mediated by LAMP2A. Because of the subcellular localization and machinery involved, this mechanism has many similarities with chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) and endosomal microautophagy (e-Mi), but also some important differences. In this punctum we will focus on the mechanistic details of exosomal LAMP2A loading of cargo (e-LLoC) as well as on its implications for intercellular and interorgan communication.

Keywords: LAMP2A; autophagy; chaperones; eLLoC; endosomes; exosomes; inter-organ communication; intercellular communication; lysosome.