Ornithine decarboxylase as an enzyme target for therapy

Peter P. McCann, Anthony E. Pegg

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

231 Scopus citations


Interest in ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) and the therapeutic effects of its inhibition with the consequent depletion of polyamine biosynthesis has been widespread since the late 1970s and 1980s. This review covers new information about the properties of ODC, recent findings with ODC inhibitors and a discussion of the mechanism of inactivation of ODC by eflornithine. Recent in vivo therapeutic approaches of ODC inhibition are also discussed including: cancer and cancer chemoprevention; autoimmune diseases; polyamines and the blood-brain barrier, ischemia and hyperplasia; the NMDA receptor and modulation by polyamines; hearing loss; African trypanosomiasis; Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia and Cryptosporidium in AIDS; and other infectious diseases/organisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-215
Number of pages21
JournalPharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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