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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Androgen responsiveness and intrarenal localization of transcripts coding for the enzymes of polyamine metabolism in the mouse.

Polyamines, spermidine (SPD), and spermine (SPM) are intracellular polycations required for cell growth and differentiation. Their biosynthetic precursor, the diamine putrescine (PUT), is produced by regulatory ornithine decarboxylase (ODC). Spermidine/spermine N1-acetyltransferase (SSAT) is the ODC counterpart in the degradation pathway which retroconverts SPM and SPD into PUT. Castration of male mice for 7 days resulted in a 40% decrease of the renal levels of both SSAT and ODC transcripts. Administration of 5-alpha-dihydrotestosterone (DHT) to castrated mice for the last 3 days before sacrifice caused the levels of ODC and SSAT mRNAs to increase by 250% and 180%, respectively. Thus activation of the retroconversion pathway of polyamine metabolism appears to contribute towards the increase in PUT production known to be caused by androgens in the mouse kidney. In situ hybridization histochemistry experiments showed that the SSAT transcript is expressed only by the epithelial cells of the straight and convoluted distal tubules of the nephron, while the expression of the ODC transcript is confined to the epithelium of the convoluted and straight portion of the proximal tubules. The separation of the biosynthetic from the degradation pathway along the nephron suggests that PUT is mostly produced in the distal tubule, where it may play a physiological role, independent of androgen action, in protecting tubular cells from the very low osmolarity to which they are exposed in this nephron segment.[1]


  1. Androgen responsiveness and intrarenal localization of transcripts coding for the enzymes of polyamine metabolism in the mouse. Bettuzzi, S., Strocchi, P., Davalli, P., Marinelli, M., Furci, L., Corti, A. Biochem. Cell Biol. (2001) [Pubmed]
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