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Mol Genet Metab. 2002 Mar;75(3):209-18.

Cloning and characterization of human agmatinase.

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  • 1Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California 90095-1732, USA.


Arginine decarboxylase (ADC) and agmatinase are part of an operon in Escherichia coli, which constitutes the primary pathway of polyamine synthesis from arginine. This pathway is also known to exist in plants, but until recently, neither agmatine nor ADC, the enzyme that synthesizes it, nor agmatinase the enzyme that is responsible for conversion of agmatine to putrescine, were known to exist in man or other mammals. We describe here the cloning of the agmatinase gene and the tissue distribution of its transcription product. Human agmatinase contains 352 amino acid residues and has a calculated molecular weight of 37,688 kDa. It has 56% similarity to E. coli agmatinase and 42% similarity to human arginases I and II and shares highly conserved substrate-binding domains with these well-characterized enzymes.

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