Activation of chick tendon lysyl oxidase in response to copper

Robert B. Rucker, Brian R. Rucker, Alyson E. Mitchell, Chang Tai Cui, Michael Clegg, Taru Kosonen, Janet Y. Uriu-Adams, Eskouhie H. Tchaparian, Michelle Fishman, Carl L Keen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Lysyl oxidase (EC, a cuproenzyme, can account for 10-30% of the copper present in connective tissue. Herein, we assess the extent to which tissue copper concentrations and lysyl oxidase activity are related because the functional activity of lysyl oxidase and the copper content of chick tendon are both related to dietary copper intake. Chicks (1-d old) were fed diets (basal copper concentration, 0.4 μg/g diet) to which copper was added from 0 to 16 μg/g diet. Liver and plasma copper levels tended to normalize in chickens that consumed from 1 to 4 μg copper/g of diet, whereas tendon copper concentrations suggested an unusual accumulation of copper in chickens that consumed 16 μg copper/g diet. The molecular weight of lysyl oxidase was also estimated using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization/time-of-flight/mass spectrometry (MALDI/TOF/MS). A novel aspect of these measurements was estimation of protein mass directly from the surface of chick tendons and aortae. Whether copper deficiency (0 added copper) or copper supplementation (16 μg copper/g of diet) caused changes in the molecular weight of protein(s) in tendon corresponding to lysyl oxidase was addressed. The average molecular weight of the peak corresponding to lysyl oxidase in tendon and aorta from copper-deficient birds was 28,386 Da ± 86, whereas the average molecular weight of corresponding protein in tendon from copper-supplemented birds was 28,639 Da ± 122. We propose that the shift in molecular weight is due in part to copper binding and the formation of lysyl tyrosyl quinone, the cofactor at the active site of lysyl oxidase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2143-2146
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1999


  • Chickens
  • Collagen
  • Copper
  • Elastin
  • Lysyl oxidase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science


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