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.
|Number of pages
|Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
|Published - Sep 15 1998
ASJC Scopus subject areas