The natural polyamine spermine functions directly as a free radical scavenger

Hyo Chol Ha, Nilantha S. Sirisoma, Periannan Kuppusamy, Jay L. Zweier, Patrick M. Woster, Robert A. Casero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

475 Scopus citations


The polyamines are small organic cations that are absolutely required for eukaryotic cell growth. Although their growth requirements are well established, the molecular functions of the polyamines are ill-defined. Oxidative damage to DNA by reactive oxygen species is a continual problem that cells must guard against to survive. The polyamine spermine, which is normally found in millimolar concentrations in the nucleus, is shown here to function directly as a free radical scavenger, and adducts formed as a result of this function are identified. These data suggest that spermine is a major natural intracellular compound capable of protecting DNA from free radical attack.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11140-11145
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number19
StatePublished - Sep 15 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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