Effects of inhibitors of ornithine and S‐adenosylmethionine decarboxylases on L6 myoblast proliferation

Christa M. Stoscheck, Bradley G. Erwin, James R. Florini, Robert A. Richman, Anthony E. Pegg

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23 Scopus citations


The role of polyamines in myoblast proliferation was studied by treating cells of Yaffe's L6 line of rat myoblasts with inhibitors of polyamine synthesis. Both an irreversible inhibitor of ornithine decarboxylase—difluoromethyl‐ornithine (DFMO)—and a competitive inhibitor of S‐adenosyl‐methionine decarboxylase—methylglyoxal‐bis(guanylhydrazone) (MGBG)—depressed spermidine levels and inhibited myoblast proliferation. Spermine levels were not significantly depressed by either inhibitor and putrescine levels were decreased only by DFMO. Putrescine and spermidine, but not magnesium, prevented inhibition of myoblast proliferation by DFMO and MGBG; determination of 14C‐DFMO uptake in the presence and absence of these compounds de monstrated that they did not reduce the rate or extent of inhibitor uptake and thus prevent its inhibition of ornithine decarboxylase. Thus it seems likely that these inhibitors reduce cell proliferation by inhibiting polyamine formation. Addition of spermidine to the cells led to a substantial reduction in the activity of S‐adenosyl‐methionine decarboxylase, suggesting that the enzyme is subject to negative regulation by the products of the polyamine biosynthetic pathway. Unexpectedly, addition of spermidine also increased intracellular putrescine levels; this apparently resulted from conversion of spermidine to putrescine. Addition of putrescine or spermidine in the absence of serum did not increase the rate of myoblast proliferation although it did elevate intracellular polyamine levels as expected. We conclude that some threshold level of one or more polyamines (probably spermidine) is necessary but not sufficient for initiation and maintenance of myoblast proliferation in culture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-168
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1982

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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