PloS one

The Bulk of Autotaxin Activity Is Dispensable for Adult Mouse Life.

PMID 26569406


Autotaxin (ATX, Enpp2) is a secreted lysophospholipase D catalysing the production of lysophosphatidic acid, a pleiotropic growth factor-like lysophospholipid. Increased ATX expression has been detected in a number of chronic inflammatory diseases and different types of cancer, while genetic interventions have proven a role for ATX in disease pathogenesis. Therefore, ATX has emerged as a potential drug target and a large number of ATX inhibitors have been developed exhibiting promising therapeutic potential. However, the embryonic lethality of ATX null mice and the ubiquitous expression of ATX and LPA receptors in adult life question the suitability of ATX as a drug target. Here we show that inducible, ubiquitous genetic deletion of ATX in adult mice, as well as long-term potent pharmacologic inhibition, are well tolerated, alleviating potential toxicity concerns of ATX therapeutic targeting.