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Polyamine Metabolism in Intestinal Cells

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The amino-acid derived polyamines have long been associated with cell growth and cancer, and specific oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes regulate polyamine metabolism. Polyamines are organic cations that are derived from amino acids and occur in all organisms. Putrescine, Spermidine and Spermine are the main polyamines found in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Polyamines are essential for the growth and function of normal cells. They interact with various macromolecules, both electrostatically and covalently and, as a consequence, have a variety of cellular effects. At physiological pH, polyamines carry a positive charge on each nitrogen atom and it has been suggested that polyamines are simply ‘supercations’, equivalent to one or two calcium or magnesium molecules. However, the charge on the polyamines is distributed [...]


1.Polyamines and cancer: old molecules, new understanding.
Gerner EW, Meyskens FL Jr.
Nat. Rev. Cancer. 2004 Oct;4(10):781-92.
2.Polyamines and colon cancer.
Milovic V, Turchanowa L.
Biochem. Soc. Trans. 2003 Apr;31(2):381-3.
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