LOX regulates cancer progression in a variety of human malignancies. It is overexpressed in aggressive cancers and higher expression of LOX is associated with higher cancer mortality. Here, we report a new function of LOX in mitosis. We show that LOX co-localizes to mitotic spindles from metaphase to telophase, and p-H3(Ser10)-positive cells harbor strong LOX staining. Further, purification of mitotic spindles from synchronized cells show that LOX fails to bind to microtubules in the presence of nocodazole, whereas paclitaxel treated samples showed enrichment in LOX expression, suggesting that LOX binds to stabilized microtubules. LOX knockdown leads to G2/M phase arrest; reduced p-H3(Ser10), cyclin B1, CDK1, and Aurora B. Moreover, LOX knockdown significantly increased sensitivity of cancer cells to chemotherapeutic agents that target microtubules. Our findings suggest that LOX has a role in cancer cell mitosis and may be targeted to enhance the activity of microtubule inhibitors for cancer therapy.
Keywords: LOX; cancer; cell cycle; microtubules; mitosis.