The increased transcription and ultimate superinduction of the spermidine/spermine N1-acetyltransferase (SSAT) gene has been associated with the antineoplastic activity of several new antitumor polyamine analogues. In sensitive tumor cell types, the transcriptional induction appears to be regulated by the constitutive association of the transcription factor Nrf-2 with the recently discovered polyamine-responsive element. Using the yeast two-hybrid system, a new transcriptional cofactor, polyamine- modulated factor-1 (PMF-1), has been identified as a partner protein of Nrf-2 that, in combination with Nrf-2, regulates the polyamine analogue-induced transcription of SSAT. The human PMF-1 gene, located on chromosome 1 near the 1q12/1q21 border, yields an mRNA transcript of ~1.2 kilobases that codes for a 165-amino acid protein with a predicted molecular mass of ~20 kDa. The PMF-1 mRNA appears to increase in response to analogue exposure only in analogue-responsive cells. In addition to the transcriptional regulation of SSAT, PMF-1 or similar factors should be considered in the regulation of other polyamine-dependent genes.
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