bims-polyam Biomed news
on Polyamines
Issue of 2019‒03‒31
five papers selected by
Alexander Ivanov
Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology


  1. Front Nutr. 2019 ;6 24
    Ramos-Molina B, Queipo-Ortuño MI, Lambertos A, Tinahones FJ, Peñafiel R.
      The polyamines putrescine, spermidine, and spermine are widely distributed polycationic compounds essential for cellular functions. Intracellular polyamine pools are tightly regulated by a complex regulatory mechanism involving de novo biosynthesis, catabolism, and transport across the plasma membrane. In mammals, both the production of polyamines and their uptake from the extracellular space are controlled by a set of proteins named antizymes and antizyme inhibitors. Dysregulation of polyamine levels has been implicated in a variety of human pathologies, especially cancer. Additionally, decreases in the intracellular and circulating polyamine levels during aging have been reported. The differences in the polyamine content existing among tissues are mainly due to the endogenous polyamine metabolism. In addition, a part of the tissue polyamines has its origin in the diet or their production by the intestinal microbiome. Emerging evidence has suggested that exogenous polyamines (either orally administrated or synthetized by the gut microbiota) are able to induce longevity in mice, and that spermidine supplementation exerts cardioprotective effects in animal models. Furthermore, the administration of either spermidine or spermine has been shown to be effective for improving glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity and reducing adiposity and hepatic fat accumulation in diet-induced obesity mouse models. The exogenous addition of agmatine, a cationic molecule produced through arginine decarboxylation by bacteria and plants, also exerts significant effects on glucose metabolism in obese models, as well as cardioprotective effects. In this review, we will discuss some aspects of polyamine metabolism and transport, how diet can affect circulating and local polyamine levels, and how the modulation of either polyamine intake or polyamine production by gut microbiota can be used for potential therapeutic purposes.
    Keywords:  aging; diet; gut microbiota; metabolism; obesity; polyamines
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.3389/fnut.2019.00024
  2. Amino Acids. 2019 Mar 26.
    Akasaka N, Fujiwara S.
      Agmatine, a natural polyamine produced from arginine by arginine decarboxylase, was first discovered in 1910, but its physiological significance was disregarded for a century. The recent rediscovery of agmatine as an endogenous ligand for α2-adrenergic and imidazoline receptors in the mammalian brain suggests that this amine may be a promising therapeutic agent for treating a broad spectrum of central nervous system-associated diseases. In the past two decades, numerous preclinical and several clinical studies have demonstrated its pleiotropic modulatory functions on various molecular targets related to neurotransmission, nitric oxide synthesis, glucose metabolism, polyamine metabolism, and carnitine biosynthesis, indicating potential for therapeutic applications and use as a nutraceutical to improve quality of life. An enzymatic activity of arginine decarboxylase which produces agmatine from arginine was low in mammals, suggesting that a large portion of the agmatine is supplemented from diets and gut microbiota. In the present review, we focus on and concisely summarize the beneficial effects of agmatine for treating depression, anxiety, neuropathic pain, cognitive decline and learning impairment, dependence on drugs, and metabolic diseases (diabetes and obesity), since these fields have been intensively investigated. We also briefly discuss agmatine content in foodstuffs, and a simple approach for enhancing agmatine production using the filamentous fungus Aspergillus oryzae, widely used for the production of various Asian fermented foods.
    Keywords:  Agmatine; Aspergillus oryzae; Fermented foods; Polyamines; Quality of life
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00726-019-02720-7
  3. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2019 Mar 26. pii: S0006-291X(19)30541-8. [Epub ahead of print]
    Harada D, Nagamachi S, Aso K, Ikeda K, Takahashi Y, Furuse M.
      l-Ornithine is found in animals as a free amino acid and is a vital component of the urea cycle in the liver; it is reported to have various functions such as promoting wound healing, promoting growth hormone secretion, hypnotic effects, and so on. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of a single oral administration of l-ornithine on 1) the metabolism of amino acids in the liver and skin of mice and 2) the metabolism of polyamines in the skin of mice. To this end, ICR mice were separated into five groups; four groups were administered l-ornithine dissolved in fresh water (3.0 mmol/10 ml/kg) and a fifth group, the control, was not administered l-ornithine. The four groups comprised mice sampled at specific times (30, 60, 120 and 180 min) after oral administration of l-ornithine. We found that metabolism of l-ornithine to l-citrulline was rapid and that l-citrulline concentration remained high in mice sampled at later stages. Similarly, the concentrations of l-proline and glycine, both of which are important components of collagen, also rapidly increased in the skin following l-ornithine treatment. The concentrations of polyamines (putrescine, spermidine and spermine), which are known to increase the synthesis of certain proteins and enhance the epidermal barrier function, were also significantly increased in the skin. Our study shows that oral administration of l-ornithine significantly influences the chemical composition of the skin of mice through increases in both amino acids and polyamines after a short period of time.
    Keywords:  Collagen constituting amino acids; Metabolic changes; Polyamines; l-citrulline; l-ornithine
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2019.03.147
  4. Neuroscience. 2019 Mar 25. pii: S0306-4522(19)30195-2. [Epub ahead of print]
    Sawano TOSHINORI, Tsuchihashi RYO, Watanabe FUMIYA, Niimi KENTA, Yamaguchi WATARU, Yamaguchi NATSUMI, Furuyama TATSUO, Tanaka HIDEKAZU, Matsuyama TOMOHIRO, Inagaki SHINOBU.
      Cerebral ischemia induces neuroinflammation and microglial activation, in which activated microglia upregulate their proliferative activity and change their metabolic states. In activated microglia, l-arginine is metabolized competitively by inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and arginase (Arg), which then synthesize NO or polyamines, respectively. Our previous study demonstrated that Sema4D deficiency inhibits iNOS expression and promotes proliferation of ionized calcium-binding adaptor molecule 1 (Iba1)-positive (Iba1+) microglia in the ischemic cortex, although the underlying mechanisms were unclear. Using middle cerebral artery occlusion, we tested the hypothesis that Sema4D deficiency alters the balance of l-arginine metabolism between iNOS and Arg, leading to an increase in the production of polyamines, which are an essential factor for cell proliferation. In the peri-ischemic cortex, almost all iNOS+ and/or Arg1+ cells were Iba1+ microglia. In the peri-ischemic cortex of Sema4D-deficient (Sema4D-/-) mice, the number of iNOS+ Arg1- Iba1+ microglia was smaller and that of iNOS- Arg1+ Iba1+ microglia was greater than those of wild-type (WT) mice. In addition, urea and polyamine levels in the ischemic cortex of Sema4D-/- mice were higher than those of WT mice; furthermore, the presence of Sema4D inhibited polyamine production in primary microglia obtained from Sema4D-/- mice. Finally, microglia cultured under polyamine putrescine-supplemented conditions demonstrated increased proliferation rates over non-supplemented controls. These findings indicate that Sema4D regulates microglial proliferation at least in part by regulating the competitive balance of l-arginine metabolism.
    Keywords:  Arg1; MCAO; iNOS; microglia; polyamines; proliferation
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroscience.2019.03.037
  5. Anal Bioanal Chem. 2019 Mar 28.
    Raimbault A, Dorebska M, West C.
      In this project, we aimed at analyzing native (or free) amino acids with supercritical fluid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometric detection, with modern instruments and methods, and maintaining as simple a mobile phase as possible to ensure applicability of the method. The purpose was twofold: (i) a generic method allowing for satisfactory elution of a wide range of amino acids (acidic, basic, or neutral residue) and (ii) resolution of the enantiomeric pairs. The Chiralpak ZWIX (+) and (-) stationary phases were selected as they are well-known for the enantioresolution of amino acids in liquid chromatographic modes. A wide range elution gradient, starting with a large concentration of carbon dioxide (90%) and finishing at 100% solvent (methanol containing 70 mM ammonium formate and 7% water) allowed the elution of 18 native proteinogenic amino acids out of 19 injected. In these conditions, enantioselectivity was achieved for 16 of them. The basic amino acids (arginine, histidine, and lysine) were the most difficult to elute in these conditions, resulting in rather poor peak shapes. Cysteine was never observed in any of the conditions tested. Sample application was attempted with two food supplements, tablets containing a mixture of 17 proteinogenic amino acids and capsules containing taurine and theanine that were not present in the standards used for the method development. The sample preparation method was very simple, involving dissolution of the tablets and capsules in acidified water, filtration, and dilution with methanol. Mass spectrometric detection (electrospray ionization with single-quadrupole mass detection) allowed for unambiguous identification of most amino acids, except for the leucine and isoleucine isomers that were not separated by the generic gradient. The observation of taurine and theanine also suggests that the method should be generally applicable to other native amino acids than the proteinogenic amino acids selected for the development of this method. As peak shapes and signal-to-noise ratios could still be improved, further developments are wanted to upgrade this method. Due to the wide gradient (10 to 100% co-solvent in carbon dioxide), the method cannot truly be called either supercritical fluid chromatography (SFC) or enhanced-fluidity liquid chromatography (EFLC), but should be related to "unified chromatography" (UC), joining SFC and HPLC. Graphical abstract.
    Keywords:  Amino acids; Enhanced-fluidity liquid chromatography; Food supplements; Supercritical fluid chromatography; Unified chromatography
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00216-019-01783-5