Transgenic lysyl oxidase homolog 1 overexpression in the mouse eye results in the formation and release of protein aggregates

Journal article

Publication Details

Author(s): Zadravec P, Braunger BM, Melzer B, Kroeber M, Boesl MR, Jaegle H, Schlötzer-Schrehardt U, Tamm ER
Journal: Experimental Eye Research
Publication year: 2019
Volume: 179
Pages range: 115-124
ISSN: 0014-4835


Sequence variants in LOXL1 coding for the secreted enzyme lysyl oxidase homolog 1 (LOXL1) associate with pseudoexfoliation (PEX) syndrome, a condition that is characterized by the deposition of extracellular fibrillar PEX material in the anterior eye and other parts of the body. Since the specific role of LOXL1 in the pathogenesis of PEX is unclear, and an increase in its expression was reported for early stages of PEX syndrome, we generated and studied transgenic mice with ocular overexpression of its mouse ortholog Loxl1. The chicken beta B1-crystallin promoter was used to overexpress Loxl1 in the lenses of beta B1-crystallin-Loxll transgenic mice. Transgenic lenses contained high levels of the protein LOXL1 and its mRNA, which were both not detectable in lenses of wildtype littermates. In wildtype mice, immunoreactivity for LOXL1 was mainly seen extracellularly in region of the ciliary zonules. beta B1-crystallin-Loxl1 littermates showed an additional diffuse immunostaining in lens fibers and capsule, and in the inner limiting membrane and retina indicating secretion of soluble LOXL1 from transgenic lenses. In addition, lens fibers of transgenic animals contained multiple distinct spots of very intense LOXL1 immunoreactivity. By transmission electron microscopy, those spots correlated with electron-dense round or oval bodies of 20-50 nm in diameter which were localized in the rough endoplasmic reticulum and not seen in wildtype lenses. Immunogold electron microscopy confirmed that the electron-dense bodies contained LOXL1 indicating aggregation of insoluble LOXL1. Similar structures were seen in the extracellular lens capsule suggesting their secretion from lens fibers. Otherwise, no changes were seen between the eyes of beta B1-crystallin-Loxl1 mice and their wildtype littermates, neither by light microscopy and funduscopy of whole eyes, nor by scanning and quantitative transmission electron microscopy of ciliary epithelium and zonules. At one month of age, intraocular pressure was significantly higher in transgenic mice than in wildtype littermates. No differences in IOP were seen though at 2-5 months of age. We conclude that LOXL1 has a strong tendency to aggregate in the rER when expressed in vivo at high amounts. A similar scenario, involving intracellular aggregation of LOXL1 and secretion of LOXL1 aggregates into the extracellular space, may be involved in the early pathogenetic events in eyes of PEX patients.

FAU Authors / FAU Editors

Schlötzer-Schrehardt, Ursula apl. Prof. Dr.
Medizinische Fakultät

Additional Organisation

External institutions with authors

Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
Universität Regensburg

How to cite

Zadravec, P., Braunger, B.M., Melzer, B., Kroeber, M., Boesl, M.R., Jaegle, H.,... Tamm, E.R. (2019). Transgenic lysyl oxidase homolog 1 overexpression in the mouse eye results in the formation and release of protein aggregates. Experimental Eye Research, 179, 115-124.

Zadravec, Patrick, et al. "Transgenic lysyl oxidase homolog 1 overexpression in the mouse eye results in the formation and release of protein aggregates." Experimental Eye Research 179 (2019): 115-124.


Last updated on 2019-06-03 at 14:47