Lysyl oxidases: Expression in the fetal membranes and placenta

S. Hein, S. Y. Yamamoto, K. Okazaki, C. Jourdan-Lesaux, K. Csiszar, G. D. Bryant-Greenwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


The cross-linking of the connective tissues in the fetal membranes and placenta is important for their tensile strength and elasticity. We have studied the expression of lysyl oxidase (LOX) because it is the classical enzyme responsible for the cross-linking of collagen and elastin. We have also studied the two recently described, genetically distinct lysyl oxidase-like genes and proteins, lysyl oxidase-like (LOXL) and lysyl oxidase-like 2 (LOXL2), of unknown functions. Specific antisera have been used for immunolocalization in fetal membranes and placentae from early pregnancy terminations and after caesarean section at both preterm and term, prior to labour. In addition, the steady state mRNA levels of the three genes has been quantitated in separated amnion, chorion, decidua and placentae collected at term before labour. The immunocytochemistry shows that the spatial expression of the three lysyl oxidases is similar in early pregnancy in both the fetal membranes and placentae. However, by preterm this pattern had diverged and becomes greatest at term. The expression of the genes found at term was similar to the results of protein expression obtained by immunocytochemistry, with the exception of LOXL which had high placental gene expression, but low levels of immunolocalized protein. Thus by term, LOX was expressed predominantly in the amniotic epithelium, with little expression in the placenta, while LOXL showed highest gene expression in the placenta and lowest expression in the amnion. LOXL2 expression was again different and was expressed predominantly in the chorionic cytotrophoblast of the membranes with low expression in both the amnion and placentae. These results suggest that these three members of the lysyl oxidase family may have similar roles in early pregnancy during the development of the placenta and fetal membranes, but their divergence as pregnancy advances to term, may reflect changes in substrate specificity and connective tissue composition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-57
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Developmental Biology


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