Regulation of polyamine transport in Chinese hamster ovary cells

Timothy L. Byers, Anthony E. Pegg

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Control Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells and mutant CHO cells lacking ornithine decarboxylase activity (CHODC) were used to study the regulation of polyamine uptake. It was found that the transport system responsible for this uptake was regulated by intracellular polyamine levels and that this regulation was responsible for the maintenance of physiological intracellular levels under extreme conditions such as polyamine deprivation or exposure to exogenous polyamines. Polyamine transport activity was enhanced by decreases in polyamine content produced either by inhibition of ornithine decarboxylase with α‐difluoromethylornithine in CHO cells or via polyamine starvation of CHODC cells. The provision of exogenous polyamines resulted in rapid and large increases in intracellular polyamine content followed by decreased polyamine transport activity. Soon after this decrease in uptake activity, intracellular polyamine levels then fell to near control values. Cells grown in the presence of exogenous polyamines maintained intracellular polyamine levels at values similar to those of control cells. Protein synthesis was necessary for the increase in transport in response to polyamine depletion, but appeared to play no role in decreasing polyamine transport. Bis(ethyl) polyamine analogues mimicked polyamines in the regulation of polyamine transport but this process was relatively insensitive to regulation by methylgiyoxal bis(guanylhydrazone), a spermidine analogue known to enter cells via this transport system and to accumulate to very high levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)460-467
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1990

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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