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Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2007 Nov 1;224(3):249-56. Epub 2006 Nov 29.

Polyamines and nonmelanoma skin cancer.

Author information

1
Lankenau Institute for Medical Research, 100 Lancaster Avenue, Wynnewood, PA 19096, USA. gilmours@mlhs.org

Abstract

Elevated levels of polyamines have long been associated with skin tumorigenesis. Tightly regulated metabolism of polyamines is critical for cell survival and normal skin homeostasis, and these controls are dysregulated in skin tumorigenesis. A key enzyme in polyamine biosynthesis, ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) is upregulated in skin tumors compared to normal skin. Use of transgenic mouse models has demonstrated that polyamines play an essential role in the early promotional phase of skin tumorigenesis. The formation of skin tumors in these transgenic mice is dependent upon polyamine biosynthesis, especially putrescine, since treatment with inhibitors of ODC activity blocks the formation of skin tumors and causes the rapid regression of existing tumors. Although the mechanism by which polyamines promote skin tumorigenesis are not well understood, elevated levels of polyamines have been shown to stimulate epidermal proliferation, alter keratinocyte differentiation status, increase neovascularization, and increase synthesis of extracellular matrix proteins in a manner similar to that seen in wound healing. It is becoming increasingly apparent that elevated polyamine levels activate not only epidermal cells but also underlying stromal cells in the skin to promote the development and progression of skin tumors. The inhibition of polyamine biosynthesis has potential to be an effective chemoprevention strategy for nonmelanoma skin cancer.

PMID:
17234230
PMCID:
PMC2098876
DOI:
10.1016/j.taap.2006.11.023
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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