Cytostasis induced in L1210 murine leukaemia cells by the S-adenosyl-L-methionine decarboxylase inhibitor 5'-{[(Z)-4-amino-2-butenyl]methylamino}-5'-deoxyadenosine may be due to hypusine depletion

T. L. Byers, B. Ganem, A. E. Pegg

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The effects of inhibition of the capacity to form spermidine and spermine on cell growth were investigated using murine leukaemia L1210 cells and 5'-{[(Z)-4-amino-2-butenyl]methylamino'-5'-deoxyadenosine (MDL 73811, AbeAdo), an enzyme-activated irreversible inhibitor of S-adenosyl-L-methionine decarboxylase. Putrescine levels were increased 80-fold, and spermidine and spermine levels were greatly reduced after a 3-day exposure to a maximally inhibitory dose of 10 μM-AbeAdo. Addition of AbeAdo to the culture medium inhibited the growth of L1210 cells measured 3 days later in a dose-dependent manner, but, even at a dose of 10 μM, which was maximally effective, exposure to AbeAdo was not immediately cytostatic. However, the growth rate of L1210 cells chronically exposed to 10 μM-AbeAdo declined steadily until day 12, when the cells stopped growing. L1210 cells exposed to AbeAdo for 12 days could not be rescued from cytostasis by removal of the drug from the culture, but could be rescued by exposure to exogenous spermidine or spermine, indicating that the growth-inhibitory effects of AbeAdo were a result of spermidine and/or spermine depletion. It is suggested that elevated intracellular putrescine in AbeAdo-treated cells sustained limited growth in the absence of physiological levels of spermidine and spermine until certain critical and specific physiological role(s) fulfilled by spermidine (and/or spermine) became deficient resulting in cytostasis. N-(3-Aminopropyl)-1,4-diamino-but-2-ene, a spermidine analogue that is a substrate for deoxyhypusine synthase, was able to mimic the effects of spermidine in reversing AbeAdo-induced cytostasis. Spermidine analogues such as 5,5-dimethylspermidine, which are not substrates for deoxyhypusine synthase, were not active in this way. These results provide evidence that the formation of hypusine in the protein-synthesis initiation factor eIF-5A may be a critical role of spermidine essential for cell growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)717-724
Number of pages8
JournalBiochemical Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1992


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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