Copper and Connective Tissue: The Mechanism of Lysyl Oxidase

  • Frederick T. Greenaway
  • Coleen Young O’Gara
Part of the Experimental Biology and Medicine book series (EBAM, volume 16)


It has long been known that there is a relationship between copper-deficiency and solubilization of connective tissue. Although copper deficiency in humans is not common, cases have been reported in populations that subsist largely on a grain diet, and in such populations there has been noted a high incidence of musculo-skeletal weaknesses attributed to solubilization of collagen and elastin, the proteins of connective tissue. These are proteins with very organized structures. They are very strong and quite insoluble because of extensive cross-linking of the protein chains. As the degree of cross-linking decreases, the proteins become increasingly soluble. Several diseases and some inherited disorders are also characterized by solubilization of connective tissue and it is significant that these are also associated with abnormal copper distributions. Several recent reviews of the physiological aspects of copper are available1.


Amine Oxidase Lysyl Oxidase Copper Protein Enzyme Isolation Radioactive Assay 
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Copyright information

© The Humana Press Inc. 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frederick T. Greenaway
    • 1
  • Coleen Young O’Gara
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryClark UniversityWorcesterUSA

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