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Sci Rep. 2018 Jul 10;8(1):10384. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-28648-8.

Oxidative degradation of polyamines by serum supplement causes cytotoxicity on cultured cells.

Wang L1,2, Liu Y1,2, Qi C3, Shen L1,2, Wang J1,2, Liu X1,2, Zhang N4,5, Bing T1,2, Shangguan D6,7.

Author information

1
Department Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences, Key Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry for Living Biosystems, CAS Research/Education Center for Excellence in Molecular Sciences, Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100190, China.
2
University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100049, China.
3
CAS Center for Excellence in Nanoscience, National Center for Nanoscience and Technology, Beijing, 100190, China.
4
Department Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences, Key Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry for Living Biosystems, CAS Research/Education Center for Excellence in Molecular Sciences, Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100190, China. hszhang@iccas.ac.cn.
5
University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100049, China. hszhang@iccas.ac.cn.
6
Department Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences, Key Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry for Living Biosystems, CAS Research/Education Center for Excellence in Molecular Sciences, Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100190, China. sgdh@iccas.ac.cn.
7
University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100049, China. sgdh@iccas.ac.cn.

Abstract

Serum is a common supplement for cell culture due to it containing the essential active components for the growth and maintenance of cells. However, the knowledges of the active components in serum are incomplete. Apart from the direct influence of serum components on cultured cells, the reaction of serum components with tested drugs cannot be ignored, which usually results in the false conclusion on the activity of the tested drugs. Here we report the toxicity effect of polyamines (spermidine and spermine) on cultured cells, especially on drug-resistant cancer cell lines, which resulted from the oxidative degradation of polyamines by amine oxidases in serum supplement. Upon adding spermidine or spermine, high concentration of H2O2, an enzyme oxidation product of polyamines, was generated in culture media containing ruminant serum, such as fetal bovine serum (FBS), calf serum, bovine serum, goat serum or horse serum, but not in the media containing human serum. Drug-resistant cancer cell lines showed much higher sensitivity to the oxidation products of polyamines (H2O2 and acrolein) than their wild cell lines, which was due to their low antioxidative capacity.

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