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The degradation of cellular components plays an essential role in homeostasis. However, the known degradation pathways cannot account for the levels of proteolysis in cells. Here, we demonstrate that cytosolic proteins are imported into lysosomes in an ATP-dependent manner for degradation through a direct uptake mechanism distinct from any known pathway. SIDT2, a lysosomal membrane protein previously reported as an RNA transporter, translocates substrate proteins across the lysosomal membrane. Furthermore, we identify a dominant-negative mutation in SIDT2 that causes neuropathy and distal myopathy with rimmed vacuoles, a protein aggregation disease in humans. We generate Sidt2 knockout mice, recapitulating the characteristic features of this disease. Our results reveal a novel degradation pathway and illustrate its crucial role in cellular proteostasis, physiology, and pathophysiology.

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