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Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2007 May;6(5):373-90.

Targeting polyamine metabolism and function in cancer and other hyperproliferative diseases.

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  • 1The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21231, USA.


The polyamines spermidine and spermine and their diamine precursor putrescine are naturally occurring, polycationic alkylamines that are essential for eukaryotic cell growth. The requirement for and the metabolism of polyamines are frequently dysregulated in cancer and other hyperproliferative diseases, thus making polyamine function and metabolism attractive targets for therapeutic intervention. Recent advances in our understanding of polyamine function, metabolic regulation, and differences between normal cells and tumour cells with respect to polyamine biology, have reinforced the interest in this target-rich pathway for drug development.

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