Synthesis and uptake are two important regulated mechanisms by which eukaryotic cells maintain polyamine levels. The role that loss of synthesis and/or uptake regulation plays in mediating putrescine toxicity was investigated by comparing toxicity in an ornithine decarboxylase (ODC)- deficient Chinese hamster ovary cell line (C55.7) with a functional putrescine transport system and an ODC-overproducing rat hepatoma cell line (DH23b), which are transport regulation deficient. When C55.7 cells were transfected with either mouse ODC (M) or trypanosome ODC (Tb), intracellular putrescine content increased slightly in C55.7(Tb-ODC), compared to C55.7(M- ODC), due to the lack of response of Tb-ODC to polyamine regulation. The increase in putrescine content resulting from loss of ODC regulation had no impact on cell growth and viability. When the feedback repression of polyamine uptake was blocked with cycloheximide, C55.7 cells transfected with either ODC construct accumulated very high levels of putrescine from the medium, and underwent apoptosis in a putrescine dose-dependent manner. A similar correlation of deregulated putrescine uptake and increased apoptotic cells was observed in DH23b cells. These data demonstrate that loss of feedback regulation on the polyamine transport system, but not ODC activity, is sufficient to induce apoptosis. Thus, downregulation of the transport system is necessary to prevent accumulation of cytotoxic putrescine levels in rodent cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology