Treatment of L1210 cells with either of two inhibitors of S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase (AdoMetDC), namely 5′-deoxy-5′-[N-methyl-N-[2-(amino-oxy)ethyl])aminoadenosine or 5′-deoxy-5′-[N-methyl-N-(3-hydrazinopropyl)]aminoadenosine, produced a large increase in the amount of ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) protein. The increased enzyme content was due to a decreased rate of degradation of the protein and to an increased rate of synthesis, but there was no change in its mRNA content. The inhibitors led to a substantial decline in the amounts of intracellular spermidine and spermine, but to a big increase in the amount of putrescine. These results indicate that the content of ODC is negatively regulated by spermidine and spermine at the levels of protein translation and turnover, but that putrescine is much less effective in bringing about this repression. Addition of either spermidine or spermine to the cells treated with the AdoMetDC inhibitors led to a decrease in ODC activity, indicating that either polyamine can bring about this effect, but spermidine produced effects at concentrations similar to those found in the control cells and appears to be the physiologically important regulator. The content of AdoMetDC protein (measured by radioimmunoassay) was also increased by these inhibitors, and a small increase in its mRNA content was observed, but this was insufficient to account for the increase in protein. A substantial stabilization of AdoMetDC occurred in these cells, contributing to the increased enzyme content, but an increase in the rate of translation cannot be ruled out.

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