Modulation of growth gene expression by selective alteration of polyamines in human colon carcinoma cells

Paul Celano, Craig M. Berchtold, Francis M. Giardiello, Robert A. Casero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The biosynthesis of the polyamines, putrescine, spermidine and spermine, is temporally linked with expression of many growth related genes. Our previous studies have shown that generalized polyamine depletion of the human colon cancer cell line COLO 320 by 2-difluoromethylornithine is associated with decreased transcription of the c-myc, c-fos, and ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) genes. In the current study, the role of individual polyamines was further defined by the use of a specific inhibitor of spermidine synthase, S-adenosyl-1,8, diamino-3-thio-octane (AdoDATO), and a spermine analogue, N1, N12 bis(ethyl)spermine. Our data demonstrate that depletion of spermidine results in a 60-90% decrease in c-myc mRNA steady state levels. In contrast, c-fos mRNA levels are decreased only when both spermidine and spermine are diminshed. Furthermore, ODC mRNA levels are increased when all polyamines are decreased by DFMO, but are unaffected by a selective reduction in intracellular spermidine levels by AdoDATO. These studies suggest that individual polyamines may have a selective role in the expression of specific growth related genes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)384-390
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 30 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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