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Cancer Lett. 1996 Aug 2;105(2):233-9.

Effects of inhibitors of deoxyhypusine synthase on the differentiation of mouse neuroblastoma and erythroleukemia cells.

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Department of Chemistry, State University of New Jersey, Piscataway 08855-0939, USA.


Deoxyhpusine synthase catalyzes the conversion of lysine to deoxyhypusine residue on the eukaryotic initiation factor 5A (eIF-5A) precursor using spermidine as the substrate. Subsequent hydroxylation of the deoxyhypusine residue completes hypusine formation on eIF-5A. Polyamines (putrescine, spermidine, and spermine) have been implicated in tumor growth and differentiation. Because deoxyhypusine/hypusine formation is one of the most specific polyamine-dependent biochemical events, we decided to use N1-guanyl-1,7-diaminoheptane (GC7), a potent inhibitor for deoxyhypusine synthase, to assess the role of hypusine formation on tumor growth and differentiation. GC7 suppressed the growth of N2a mouse neuroblastoma cells and DS19 murine erythroleukemia cells at micromolar concentrations. However, within a narrow concentration range, GC7 could promote the differentiation of mouse neuroblastoma cells in the presence of suboptimal amount of dibutyryl cAMP. In contrast, GC7 blocked the differentiation of DS19 cells induced with hexamethylene bisacetamide. Polyamine depletion by difluoromethyl ornithine (DFMO) has previously been shown to promote differentiation of neuroblastoma cells but inhibits erythrodifferentiation. Since our studies demonstrated that GC7 mimics the action of DFMO on tumor differentiation, it is likely that the effect of DFMO on tumor differentiation is mediated by hypusine formation and that GC7 represents a more specific inhibitor that can alter the differentiation program in certain tumor cells.

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