Lysyl oxidase enzyme molecule

Lysyl oxidase enzyme molecule

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Credit: DR MARK J. WINTER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Lysyl oxidase enzyme molecule. Computer artwork showing the secondary structure of a subunit (monomer) of the enzyme lysyl oxidase (LOX). LOX is a dimeric (composed of two subunits) enzyme that has recently (as of 2009) been identified as a cause of cancer metastasis (the spread of cancer from its original location). Cancer metastasis is known to be responsible for ninety per cent of cancer-related deaths. LOX is produced by oxygen-starved (hypoxic) cells inside the tumour mass, which changes the structure of the extracellular matrix (ECM). The ECM normally acts as a barrier and separates different cell types within tissues, preventing cells from relocating.

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