Hypusine is essential for eukaryotic cell proliferation

Biol Signals. May-Jun 1997;6(3):115-23. doi: 10.1159/000109117.


Hypusine [N epsilon-(4-amino-2-hydroxybutyl)lysine] occurs in all eukaryotes at one residue in a highly conserved protein, the putative eukaryotic translation initiation factor 5A (eIF-5A, old terminology eIF-4D). This unusual amino acid is produced in a unique posttranslational modification reaction that involves the conjugation of the 4-aminobutyl moiety of the polyamine spermidine to the epsilon-amino group of a specific lysine residue of the eIF-5A precursor protein to form the deoxyhypusine [N epsilon-(4-aminobutyl)lysine] residue and its subsequent hydroxylation. The strict specificity of hypusine synthesis, its derivation from spermidine and its requirement for the activity of eIF-5A and for eukaryotic cell proliferation have raised keen interest in the physiological function of the hypusine-containing protein, eIF-5A.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Division / physiology
  • Humans
  • Lysine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Lysine / physiology
  • Peptide Initiation Factors / physiology*
  • RNA-Binding Proteins*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology


  • Peptide Initiation Factors
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • eukaryotic translation initiation factor 5A
  • hypusine
  • Lysine