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Clin Chim Acta. 2004 Jun;344(1-2):23-35.

Polyamines as clinical laboratory tools.

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Laboratory of Biochemistry, Division of Basic Medical Sciences, Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine, 1310 Johnson Lane, Mare Island, Vallejo, CA 94592, USA.


Since their discovery by Antoni van Leeuwenhoek in 1678 until the recent development of transgenic mice expressing proteins altering polyamine levels in a tissue-specific manner, polyamines have been the object of intense research efforts which have shed light on several biological and pathological processes. From the discovery of a particular form of proteasome regulation of the catabolism of the key regulatory enzyme in their synthetic pathway, to the experimental cancer treatment or prevention with polyamine antagonists or inhibitors of the latter enzyme, a whole spectrum of interests can be revealed. Still, many aspects of their functions remain elusive and difficulties inherent in their analysis, which relies on sophisticated high-performance liquid chromatographic (HPLC) methods, and the lack of standardization; have hampered the transit from the research realm to the standard clinical laboratory domain. Their assay in biological fluids has been used for cancer diagnosis and for monitoring anticancer treatment. In this article, we attempt to provide an overview of polyamine structure, nutritional value, metabolism, and physiological roles. Next, we will summarize the main analytical methods on which we count, and finally we will address their role in diagnosis of cancer as well their proposed role as antioxidant and antiglycation agents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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