Lysyl Oxidase Like 1 (LOXL1) is a gene that encodes for the LOXL1 enzyme. This enzyme is required for elastin biogenesis and collagen cross-linking, polymerising tropoelastin monomers into elastin polymers. Its main role is in elastin homeostasis and matrix remodelling during injury, fibrosis and cancer development. Because of its vast range of biological functions, abnormalities in LOXL1 underlie many disease processes. Decreased LOXL1 expression is observed in disorders of elastin such as Cutis Laxa and increased expression is reported in fibrotic disease such as Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. LOXL1 is also downregulated in the lamina cribrosa in pseudoexfoliation glaucoma and genetic variants in the LOXL1 gene have been linked with an increased risk of developing pseudoexfoliation glaucoma and pseudoexfoliation syndrome. However the two major risk alleles are reversed in certain ethnic groups and are present in a large proportion of the normal population, implying complex genetic and environmental regulation is involved in disease pathogenesis. It also appears that the non-coding variants in intron 1 of LOXL1 may be involved in the regulation of LOXL1 expression. Gene alteration may occur via a number of epigenetic and post translational mechanisms such as DNA methylation, long non-coding RNAs and microRNAs. These may represent future therapeutic targets for disease. Environmental factors such as hypoxia, oxidative stress and ultraviolet radiation exposure alter LOXL1 expression, and it is likely a combination of these genetic and environmental factors that influence disease development and progression. In this review, we discuss LOXL1 properties, biological roles and regulation in detail with a focus on pseudoexfoliation syndrome and glaucoma.
Keywords: Epigenetics; Extracellular matrix; Glaucoma; Lysyl oxidase like 1; Pseudoexfoliation.
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