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

Characterization of human spermidine/spermine N1-acetyltransferase purified from cultured melanoma cells.

Extreme inducibility of spermidine/spermine acetyltransferase (SSAT) by bis-ethyl derivatives of spermine in human large cell lung carcinoma and melanoma cells has prompted biochemical characterization of the purified enzyme. Treatment of human MALME-3 melanoma cells with 10 microM N1,N11-bis(ethyl)norspermine (BENSPM) for 48-72 h increased SSAT activity by some 1000- to 4000-fold and enabled purification of the enzyme by established procedures--binding on immobilized spermine and elution with spermine followed by binding on Matrex Blue A and elution with coenzyme A. The enzyme showed a single band by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis with a single subunit species and molecular weight of approximately 20,300 Da. By gel permeation chromatography, the holoenzyme was found to have a molecular weight of 80,000 Da, suggesting a total of four identical subunits. Purified SSAT had a specific activity of 285 mumol/min/mg for spermidine and Km values of 5.9 microM for acetylcoenzyme A, 55 microM for spermidine, 5 microM for spermine, 36 microM for N1-acetylspermine, 1.6 microM for norspermidine, and 4 microM for norspermine. Homologs of BENSPM were found to be competitive inhibitors of spermidine acetylation, with Ki values of 0.8 microM for BENSPM, 1.9 microM for N1,N12-bis-(ethyl)spermine and 17 microM for N1,N14-bis-(ethyl)-homospermine. Correlation of these values with the relative abilities of the homologs to increase SSAT in intact cells suggests that formation of an enzyme inhibitor complex may play a contributing role in enzyme induction.[1]


  1. Characterization of human spermidine/spermine N1-acetyltransferase purified from cultured melanoma cells. Libby, P.R., Ganis, B., Bergeron, R.J., Porter, C.W. Arch. Biochem. Biophys. (1991) [Pubmed]
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