Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Summary Depletion of the putrescine and spermidine content of Ehrlich ascites tumor cells by α-difluoromethylornithine (DFMO) treatment results in at least a 1500-fold increase in the decarboxylated S-adenosylmethionine (deSAM) content. The accumulation of this adenine nucleoside occurs because of the absence of putrescine and spermidine to act as aminopropyl group acceptors in the spermidine and spermine synthase reactions and because of an increase in S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase activity. The fact that the synthesis of deSAM continues in DFMO-treated cells makes the pathway an adenine trap. This prompted a study of the adenine nucleotide pools. High-performance liquid chromatographic analysis showed that the total adenine nucleotide pool increased, rather than decreased, as a result of DFMO treatment; the major contributors to the increase being ATP and ADP, which increased 2.6 and 1.9 times, respectively. The cellular content of other ribonucleotides increased as well, particularly that of UTP and CTP. When putrescine was added together with DFMO, the increases in cellular ribonucleotide contents were prevented, showing that they were indeed caused by polyamine depletion.
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