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Interactions of natural polyamines with mammalian proteins
1Institute for Theoretical Chemistry, University Vienna, A-1090 Vienna, Austria
2Institute of Biochemistry, Saarland University, Campus B2.2, D-66123 Saarbrücken, Germany
Citation Information: BioMolecular Concepts. Volume 2, Issue 1-2, Pages 79–94, ISSN (Online) 1868-503X, ISSN (Print) 1868-5021, DOI: 10.1515/bmc.2011.007, March 2011
- Published Online:
The ubiquitously expressed natural polyamines putrescine, spermidine, and spermine are small, flexible cationic compounds that exert pleiotropic actions on various regulatory systems and, accordingly, are essentially involved in diverse life functions. These roles of polyamines result from their capability to interact with negatively charged regions of all major classes of biomolecules, which might act in response by changing their structures and functions. The present review deals with polyamine-protein interactions, thereby focusing on mammalian proteins. We discuss the various modes in which polyamines can interact with proteins, describe major types of affected functions illustrated by representative examples of involved proteins, and support information with respective structural evidence from elucidated three-dimensional structures. A specific focus is put on polyamine interactions at protein surfaces that can modulate the aggregation of proteins to organized structural networks as well as to toxic aggregates and, moreover, can play a role in important transient protein-protein interactions.