LOXL2 in cancer: regulation, downstream effectors and novel roles

Biochim Biophys Acta Rev Cancer. 2020 Dec;1874(2):188435. doi: 10.1016/j.bbcan.2020.188435. Epub 2020 Sep 22.


Lysyl oxidase-like 2 (LOXL2) is a copper and lysine tyrosyl-quinone (LTQ)-dependent amine oxidase belonging to the lysyl oxidase (LOX) family, the canonical function of which is to catalyze the crosslinking of elastin and collagen in the extracellular matrix (ECM). Many studies have revealed that the aberrant expression of LOXL2 in multiple cancers is associated with epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), metastasis, poor prognosis, chemoradiotherapy resistance, and tumor progression. LOXL2 is regulated in many ways, such as transcriptional regulation, alternative splicing, microRNA regulation, posttranslational modification, and cleavage. Beyond affecting the extracellular environment, various intracellular roles, such as oxidation and deacetylation activities in the nucleus, have been reported for LOXL2. Additionally, LOXL2 contributes to tumor cell invasion by promoting cytoskeletal reorganization. Targeting LOXL2 has become a potential therapeutic strategy to combat many types of cancers. Here, we provide an overview of the regulation and downstream effectors of LOXL2 and discuss the intracellular role of LOXL2 in cancer.

Keywords: Cancer; Cytoskeleton; LOXL2; Oxidation; Regulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Oxidoreductases / genetics*
  • Amino Acid Oxidoreductases / metabolism*
  • Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Prognosis


  • Amino Acid Oxidoreductases
  • LOXL2 protein, human