Polyamine Recycling Enzymes in Human Cancer Cells

  • Heather M. Wallace
  • Mark E. Nuttall
  • Catherine S. Coleman
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 250)


The route of polyamine biosynthesis is a complex, but now well-characterised, pathway controlled at the level of the two decarboxylase enzymes, particularly ornithine decarboxylase (for review see Pegg, 1986). The catabolic pathways are however less well understood. The catabolic pathway should perhaps be more correctly referred to as the retroconversion pathway since catabolism implies breakdown and loss as opposed to the recycling which occurs. Retroconversion and biosynthesis occur in conjunction. For example, in regenerating rat liver Matsui et al. (1981) showed that the early increase in intracellular putrescine was the result of a combination of increased biosynthesis from ornithine and increased breakdown of spermine via acetylation and oxidation. Therefore, both pathways function in rapidly growing cells and they do not occur in isolation at different stages of cell growth.


Human Cancer Cell Human Cancer Cell Line Colorectal Cancer Cell Line Polyamine Metabolism Acetyltransferase Activity 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heather M. Wallace
    • 1
  • Mark E. Nuttall
    • 1
  • Catherine S. Coleman
    • 1
  1. 1.Clinical Pharmacology Unit, Department of Medicine and Therapeutics and PharmacologyUniversity of AberdeenForesterhill, AberdeenUK

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