An in situ activity assay for lysyl oxidases

Huilei Wang, Alan Poe, Lydia Pak, Kavitha Nandakumar, Sandeep Jandu, Jochen Steppan, Reik Löser, Lakshmi Santhanam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The lysyl oxidase family of enzymes (LOXs) catalyze oxidative deamination of lysine side chains on collagen and elastin to initialize cross-linking that is essential for the formation of the extracellular matrix (ECM). Elevated expression of LOXs is highly associated with diverse disease processes. To date, the inability to detect total LOX catalytic function in situ has limited the ability to fully elucidate the role of LOXs in pathobiological mechanisms. Using LOXL2 as a representative member of the LOX family, we developed an in situ activity assay by utilizing the strong reaction between hydrazide and aldehyde to label the LOX-catalyzed allysine (-CHO) residues with biotin-hydrazide. The biotinylated ECM proteins are then labeled via biotin-streptavidin interaction and detected by fluorescence microscopy. This assay detects the total LOX activity in situ for both overexpressed and endogenous LOXs in cells and tissue samples and can be used for studies of LOXs as therapeutic targets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number840
JournalCommunications biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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