Infection of human epithelial cells by Neisseria meningitidis (MC) and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (GC) increases the rate of degradation of LAMP1, a major integral membrane glycoprotein of late endosomes and lysosomes. Several lines of evidence indicate that the neisserial IgA1 protease is directly responsible for this LAMP1 degradation. LAMP1 contains an IgA1-like hinge region with potential cleavage sites for the neisserial type 1 and type 2 IgA1 proteases. Neisserial type 2 IgA1 protease cleaves purified LAMP1 in vitro. Unlike its wild-type isogenic parent, an iga− mutant of N. gonorrhoeae cannot affect LAMP1 turnover and its growth in epithelial cells is dramatically reduced. Thus, IgA1 protease cleavage of LAMP1 promotes intracellular survival of pathogenic Neisseria spp.