Modulation of protein synthesis by polyamines

IUBMB Life. 2015 Mar;67(3):160-9. doi: 10.1002/iub.1363. Epub 2015 Apr 23.


Polyamines are ubiquitous small basic molecules that play important roles in cell growth and viability. Since polyamines mainly exist as a polyamine-RNA complex, we looked for proteins whose synthesis is preferentially stimulated by polyamines at the level of translation, and thus far identified 17 proteins in Escherichia coli and 6 proteins in eukaryotes. The mechanisms of polyamine stimulation of synthesis of these proteins were investigated. In addition, the role of eIF5A, containing hypusine formed from spermidine, on protein synthesis is described. These results clearly indicate that polyamines and eIF5A contribute to cell growth and viability through modulation of protein synthesis.

Keywords: bulged-out region of RNA; eIF5A; hypusine; initiation; mRNA structure; protein synthesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Enzymes / metabolism
  • Escherichia coli / genetics*
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism*
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / genetics
  • Escherichia coli Proteins / metabolism
  • Mammals
  • Peptide Initiation Factors / metabolism
  • Polyamines / metabolism*
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • RNA, Bacterial / metabolism
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Ribosomal Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Ribosomal Proteins / genetics


  • Enzymes
  • Escherichia coli Proteins
  • Peptide Initiation Factors
  • Polyamines
  • RNA, Bacterial
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Ribosomal Proteins
  • eukaryotic translation initiation factor 5A
  • ribosome modulation factor, E coli