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J Exp Bot. 2014 Mar;65(5):1285-96. doi: 10.1093/jxb/ert373. Epub 2013 Nov 11.

Polyamines and programmed cell death.

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Department of Plant Biology and Forest Genetics, Uppsala BioCenter, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Linnean Center for Plant Biology, 75007 Uppsala, Sweden.


Polyamines (PAs) have been considered as important molecules for survival. However, evidence reinforces that PAs are also implicated, directly or indirectly, in pathways regulating programmed cell death (PCD). Direct correlation of PAs with cell death refers to their association with particular biological processes, and their physical contact with molecules or structures involved in cell death. Indirectly, PAs regulate PCD through their metabolic derivatives, such as catabolic and interconversion products. Cytotoxic products of PA metabolism are involved in PCD cascades, whereas it remains largely elusive how PAs directly control pathways leading to PCD. In this review, we present and compare advances in PA-dependent PCD in animals and plants.


Apoptosis; autophagy; cell cycle; cell death; development; oxidases; oxidative stress; polyamines; programmed cell death; spermidine

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