The role of polyamines in gastric cancer

Oncogene. 2021 Jul;40(26):4399-4412. doi: 10.1038/s41388-021-01862-x. Epub 2021 Jun 9.


Advancements in our understanding of polyamine molecular and cellular functions have led to increased interest in targeting polyamine metabolism for anticancer therapeutic benefits. The polyamines putrescine, spermidine, and spermine are polycationic alkylamines commonly found in all living cells and are essential for cellular growth and survival. This review summarizes the existing research on polyamine metabolism and function, specifically the role of polyamines in gastric immune cell and epithelial cell function. Polyamines have been implicated in a multitude of cancers, but in this review, we focus on the role of polyamine dysregulation in the context of Helicobacter pylori-induced gastritis and subsequent progression to gastric cancer. Due to the emerging implication of polyamines in cancer development, there is an increasing number of promising clinical trials using agents to target the polyamine metabolic pathway for potential chemoprevention and anticancer therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Epithelial Cells / drug effects
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways / drug effects
  • Polyamines / metabolism*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Stomach Neoplasms / metabolism*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Polyamines