Send to

Choose Destination
Amino Acids. 2004 Dec;27(3-4):347-58. Epub 2004 Aug 19.

The biological functions of polyamine oxidation products by amine oxidases: perspectives of clinical applications.

Author information

Department of Biochemical Sciences A. Rossi Fanelli, University of Rome La Sapienza, Rome, Italy.


The polyamines spermine, spermidine and putrescine are ubiquitous cell components. If they accumulate excessively within the cells, due either to very high extracellular concentrations or to deregulation of the systems which control polyamine homeostasis, they can induce toxic effects. These molecules are substrates of a class of enzymes that includes monoamine oxidases, diamine oxidases, polyamine oxidases and copper containing amine oxidases. Polyamine concentrations are high in growing tissues such as tumors. Amine oxidases are important because they contribute to regulate levels of mono- and polyamines. These enzymes catalyze the oxidative deamination of biogenic amines and polyamines to generate the reaction products H2O2 and aldehyde(s) that are able to induce cell death in several cultured human tumor cell lines. H2O2 generated by the oxidation reaction is able to cross the inner membrane of mitochondria and directly interact with endogenous molecules and structures, inducing an intense oxidative stress. Since amine oxidases are involved in many crucial physiopathological processes, investigations on their involvement in human diseases offer great opportunities to enter novel classes of therapeutic agents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center