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J Invest Dermatol. 2004 Mar;122(3):621-30.

Lysyl oxidase-like and lysyl oxidase are present in the dermis and epidermis of a skin equivalent and in human skin and are associated to elastic fibers.

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  • 1Laboratoire des Substituts Cutanés, Hôpital E. Herriot, Lyon, France.


Elastic fiber formation involves the secretion of tropoelastin which is converted to insoluble elastin by cross-linking, initiated by the oxidative deamination of lysine residues by lysyl oxidase. Five lysyl oxidase genes have been discovered. This study deals with the expression of two isoforms, LOX and LOX-like (LOXL), in human foreskin and in a human skin-equivalent (SE) model that allows the formation of elastic fibers. In this model, keratinocytes are added to a dermal equivalent made of fibroblasts grown on a chitosan-cross-linked collagen-GAG matrix. LOX and LOXL were detected by immunohistochemistry in the dermis and the epidermis of both normal skin and in a SE. This expression was confirmed by in situ hybridization on the SE. LOX and LOXL expression patterns were confirmed in human skin. The ultrastructural localization of LOXL was indicative of its association with elastin-positive materials within the SE and human skin, though interaction with collagen could not be discarded. LOX was found on collagen fibers and could be associated with elastin-positive materials in the SE and human skin. LOXL and LOX were detected in keratinocytes where LOX was mainly expressed by differentiating keratinocytes, in contrast to LOXL that can be found in both proliferating and differentiating fibroblasts. These data favor a role for LOXL in elastic fiber formation, together with LOX, and within the epidermis where both enzymes should play a role in post-translational modification of yet unknown substrates.

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