Lysyl oxidase-like 2 (LOXL2) is a member of the scavenger receptor cysteine-rich (SRCR) repeat carrying LOX family. Although LOXL2 is suspected to be involved in histone association and chromatin modification, the role of LOXL2 in epigenetic regulation during tumorigenesis and cancer progression remains unclear. Here, we report that nuclear LOXL2 associates with histone H3 and catalyzes H3K36ac deacetylation and deacetylimination. Both the N-terminal SRCR repeats and the C-terminal catalytic domain of LOXL2 carry redundant deacetylase catalytic activity. Overexpression of LOXL2 markedly reduced H3K36 acetylation and blocked H3K36ac-dependent transcription of genes, including c-MYC, CCND1, HIF1A, and CD44. Consequently, LOXL2 overexpression reduced cancer cell proliferation in vitro and inhibited xenograft tumor growth in vivo. In contrast, LOXL2 deficiency resulted in increased H3K36 acetylation and aberrant expression of H3K36ac-dependent genes involved in multiple oncogenic signaling pathways. Female LOXL2-deficient mice spontaneously developed uterine hypertrophy and uterine carcinoma. Moreover, silencing LOXL2 in cancer cells enhanced tumor progression and reduced the efficacy of cisplatin and anti-programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) combination therapy. Clinically, low nuclear LOXL2 expression and high H3K36ac levels corresponded to poor prognosis in uterine endometrial carcinoma patients. These results suggest that nuclear LOXL2 restricts cancer development in the female reproductive system via the regulation of H3K36ac deacetylation.


LOXL2 loss reprograms the epigenetic landscape to promote uterine cancer initiation and progression and repress the efficacy of anti–PD-1 immunotherapy, indicating that LOXL2 is a tumor suppressor.

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