Publication: New Article published in Cancer Research on LOXL2 in breast cancer

Thomas R. Cox, Jan 2011

Our labs recent work on LOXL2-Mediated Matrix Remodeling in Metastasis and Mammary Gland Involution has just been published in Cancer Research.


Image: Image of lung metastases in control and shLOXL2 cells

In this article we look at the role of Lysyl Oxidase Like 2 (LOXL2) in both the development and progression of breast cancer as well as the normal mammary gland remodelling. We show that high LOXL2 expression is correlated with decreased overall and metastasis-free survival in a subset of patients with aggressive breast cancer (ER− tumours). Therefore, LOXL2 expression may have prognostic value in determining which patients are most likely to develop metastatic disease.


More than 90% of cancer patient mortality is attributed to metastasis. In this study, we investigated a role for the lysyl oxidase-related enzyme lysyl oxidase-like 2 (LOXL2) in breast cancer metastasis, in both patient samples and in vivo models. Analysis of a published microarray data set revealed that LOXL2 expression is correlated with metastasis and decreased survival in patients with aggressive breast cancer. In immunocompetent or immunocompromised orthotopic and transgenic breast cancer models we showed that genetic, chemical or antibody-mediated inhibition of LOXL2 resulted in decreased metastasis. Mechanistic investigations revealed that LOXL2 promotes invasion by regulating the expression and activity of the extracellular proteins tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP1) and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP9). We found that LOXL2, TIMP1, and MMP9 are coexpressed during mammary gland involution, suggesting they function together in glandular remodeling after weaning. Finally, we found that LOXL2 is highly expressed in the basal/myoepithelial mammary cell lineage, like many other genes that are upregulated in basal-like breast cancers. Our findings highlight the importance of LOXL2 in breast cancer progression and support the development of anti-LOXL2 therapeutics for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer.


View article on Cancer Research homepage
View abstract on PubMed


Barker HE, Chang J, Cox TR, Lang G, Bird D, Nicolau M, Evans HR, Gartland A, Erler JT. LOXL2-mediated matrix remodeling in metastasis and mammary gland involution
Cancer Research; Mar 1;71(5):1561-72 (2011) doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-10-2868