Polyamine synthesis and transport inhibition in a human anaplastic thyroid carcinoma cell line in vitro and as xenograft tumors

Mustafa Yatin, Gopalakrishnan M. Venkataraman, Regina Marcinek, Kenneth B. Ain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Polyamines are essential cellular components for neoplastic transformation and cell proliferation. Antineoplastic efforts that inhibit polyamine synthesis are insufficient to induce cytotoxicity, due to compensatory induction of polyamine transport. Treatment of an anaplastic human thyroid carcinoma cell line (DRO90-1) with a novel polymeric spermine conjugate (polyspermine; PSpm) caused in vitro cytotoxicity and inhibited the growth of xenograft tumors at low concentrations. Similar in vitro antineoplastic effects were noted with two other human anaplastic thyroid carcinoma cell lines. This coincided with inhibition of polyamine uptake and synthetic enzyme activities, with reduced ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) and S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase (SAM-DC) but increased spermidine/spermine N1-acetyltransferase (SSAT) activities, as measured in DRO90-1 cells. In subsequent studies using these cells, PSpm was effective in reducing the intracellular levels of all polyamines in vitro, resulting in cytotoxicity that was not reversed by administration of extracellular polyamines. Low-dose PSpm inhibited tumor growth in vivo, but high doses of PSpm potentiated xenograft tumor growth. PSpm degradation products produced with in vivo treatment may be produced that function as substrates for polyamine biosynthesis. These studies suggest that polyamine metabolism inhibition is a viable target for antineoplastic therapy of anaplastic thyroid carcinoma, although the in vivo response to PSpm suggests that this agent will have limited clinical utility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)805-814
Number of pages10
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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