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Matrix Biol. 2005 Jun;24(4):261-70.

Minoxidil exerts different inhibitory effects on gene expression of lysyl hydroxylase 1, 2, and 3: implications for collagen cross-linking and treatment of fibrosis.

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TNO Quality of Life, Biomedical Research, Department of Tissue Repair, P.O. Box 2215, 2301 CE Leiden, The Netherlands.


Collagen deposits in fibrotic lesions often display elevated levels of hydroxyallysine (pyridinoline) cross-links. The relation between the occurrence of pyridinoline cross-links and the irreversibility of fibrosis suggests that these cross-links contribute to the aberrant accumulation of collagen. Based on its inhibitory effect on lysyl hydroxylase activity minoxidil has been postulated to possess anti-fibrotic properties by limiting the hydroxylysine supply for hydroxyallysine cross-linking. However, to interfere with hydroxyallysine cross-linking specifically lysyl hydroxylation of the collagen telopeptide should be inhibited, a reaction predominantly catalysed by lysyl hydroxylase (LH) 2b. In this study, we demonstrate that minoxidil treatment of cultured fibroblasts reduces LH1>>LH2b>LH3 mRNA levels dose-and time-dependently, but has essentially no effect on the total number of pyridinoline cross-links in the collagen matrix. Still the collagen produced in the presence of minoxidil displays some remarkable features: hydroxylation of triple helical lysine residues is reduced to 50% and lysylpyridinoline cross-linking is increased at the expense of hydroxylysylpyridinoline cross-linking. These observations can be explained by our finding that LH1 mRNA levels are the most sensitive to minoxidil treatment, corroborating that LH1 has a preference for triple helical lysine residues as substrate. In addition, the non-proportional increase in cross-links (20-fold) with respect to the decrease in lysyl hydroxylation state of the triple helix (2-fold) even suggests that LH1 preferentially hydroxylates triple helical lysine residues at the cross-link positions. We conclude that minoxidil is unlikely to serve as an anti-fibroticum, but confers features to the collagen matrix, which provide insight into the substrate specificity of LH1.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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