Lysyl oxidase like-2 (LOXL2): an emerging oncology target

Vriddhi Chopra, Ruth Sangarappillai, Isolda Romero-Canelón, Alan M Jones

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Lysyl oxidase‐like 2 (LOXL2) is an emerging drug target against metastatic disease owing to its role in the upregulation of key processes including epithelial‐mesenchymal transition (EMT) and invasion. Recent activity in the field of small molecule LOXL2 inhibitor development by pharmaceutical and academic laboratories has renewed interest in targeting LOXL2. Herein, 1) the viability of LOXL2 as a drug target for the treatment of metastatic disease through an investigation of its biological actions is determined; 2) the pitfalls of an antibody approach are considered; and 3) the small molecule approaches emerging in the scientific and patent literature are reviewed.

This review identifies that LOXL2 is localized and active intracellularly and extracellularly in invasive cancer cells. LOXL2 has been implicated in a number of established signaling pathways involved in tumor progression, further highlighting its appeal as a target in metastatic disease.

Previously, limited chemical inhibitors have been developed; however, their selectivity profile for the LOX family has proven controversial. Antibodies, such as simtuzumab, have been developed selectively against LOXL2. Simtuzumab, in particular, progresses into phase II trials but it was ultimately terminated. The small molecule inhibitors of LOXL2 are summarized, some of which are now in the early stages of clinical trials.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1900119
Number of pages23
JournalAdvanced Therapeutics
Issue number2
Early online date15 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020


  • cancer
  • fibrosis
  • Inhibitor
  • lysyl oxidase like‐2


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