Amino Acids

, Volume 46, Issue 9, pp 2231–2239 | Cite as

Antizyme (AZ) regulates intestinal cell growth independent of polyamines

  • Ramesh M. RayEmail author
  • Sujoy Bhattacharya
  • Mitul N. Bavaria
  • Mary Jane Viar
  • Leonard R. Johnson
Original Article


Since antizyme (AZ) is known to inhibit cell proliferation and to increase apoptosis, the question arises as to whether these effects occur independently of polyamines. Intestinal epithelial cells (IEC-6) were grown in control medium and medium containing 5 mM difluoromethylornithine (DFMO) to inhibit ODC, DFMO + 5 µM spermidine (SPD), DFMO + 5 µM spermine (SPM), or DFMO + 10 µM putrescine (PUT) for 4 days and various parameters of growth were measured along with AZ levels. Cell counts were significantly decreased and mean doubling times were significantly increased by DFMO. Putrescine restored growth in the presence of DFMO. However, both SPD and SPM when added with DFMO caused a much greater inhibition of growth than did DFMO alone, and both of these polyamines caused a dramatic increase in AZ. The addition of SPD or SPM to media containing DFMO + PUT significantly inhibited growth and caused a significant increase in AZ. IEC-6 cells transfected with AZ-siRNA grew more than twice as rapidly as either control cells or those incubated with DFMO, indicating that removal of AZ increases growth in cells in which polyamine synthesis is inhibited as well as in control cells. In a separate experiment, the addition of SPD increased AZ levels and inhibited growth of cells incubated with DFMO by 50 %. The addition of 10 mM asparagine (ASN) prevented the increase in AZ and restored growth to control levels. These results show that cell growth in the presence or absence of ODC activity and in the presence or absence of polyamines depends only on the levels of AZ. Therefore, the effects of AZ on cell growth are independent of polyamines.


Ornithine decarboxylase Α-difluoromethylornithine Spermidine Antizyme-siRNA Cell number Doubling time 



This publication was made possible by grants (Number DK-16505) from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease (NIDDK) and by support from the Thomas A. Gerwin endowment. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute of Health.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ramesh M. Ray
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sujoy Bhattacharya
    • 1
  • Mitul N. Bavaria
    • 1
  • Mary Jane Viar
    • 1
  • Leonard R. Johnson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyUniversity of Tennessee Health Science CenterMemphisUSA

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