Targeting polyamine metabolism for cancer therapy and prevention

R. Murray Stewart Tracy, Patrick M. Woster, Robert A. Casero

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


The chemically simple, biologically complex eukaryotic polyamines, spermidine and spermine, are positively charged alkylamines involved in many crucial cellular processes. Along with their diamine precursor putrescine, their normally high intracellular concentrations require fine attenuation by multiple regulatory mechanisms to keep these essential molecules within strict physiologic ranges. Since the metabolism of and requirement for polyamines are frequently dysregulated in neoplastic disease, the metabolic pathway and functions of polyamines provide rational drug targets; however, these targets have been difficult to exploit for chemotherapy. It is the goal of this article to review the latest findings in the field that demonstrate the potential utility of targeting the metabolism and function of polyamines as strategies for both chemotherapy and, possibly more importantly, chemoprevention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2937-2953
Number of pages17
JournalBiochemical Journal
Issue number19
StatePublished - 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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