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Biochem J. Jan 1, 1988; 249(1): 33–36.
PMCID: PMC1148661

Polyamine inhibition of lipoperoxidation. The influence of polyamines on iron oxidation in the presence of compounds mimicking phospholipid polar heads.


Polyamines appear to inhibit peroxidation of vesicles containing acidic phospholipids. A correlation exists between polyamine binding to phospholipid vesicles and its protective effect. However, phosphatidylinositol-containing vesicles which bind spermine are not protected by the polyamine [Tadolini, Cabrini, Landi, Varani & Pasquali (1985) Biogenic Amines 3, 97-106]. In the present paper I tested the hypothesis that polyamines, in particular spermine, by forming a ternary complex with iron and the phospholipid polar head may change the susceptibility of Fe2+ to autoxidation and thus its ability to generate free oxygen radicals. Different compounds mimicking phospholipid polar heads were studied, namely AMP, mimicking phosphatidic acid, CDP-choline, mimicking phosphatidylcholine, and glycerophosphoinositol, mimicking phosphatidylinositol. The results support the proposed hypothesis. In the presence of CDP-choline or of glycerophosphoinositol, spermine poorly affects Fe2+ autoxidation, whereas a considerable inhibition is observed in the presence of AMP. The ability of other phosphorus-containing compounds (ATP, ADP, cyclic AMP, sodium phosphate) to affect Fe2+ autoxidation in the presence of polyamines was also evaluated to understand the molecular mechanism of this phenomenon. It is proposed that polyamines may be part of the passive cellular defence mechanism against the oxidative damage caused by Fe2+.

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Selected References

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