Polyamines pp 39-50 | Cite as

Exploring Polyamine Biosynthetic Diversity Through Comparative and Functional Genomics

  • Anthony J. Michael
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 720)


The existence of multiple, alternative pathways for polyamine biosynthesis, and the presence of alternative polyamine structural analogs, is an indication of the physiological importance of polyamines and their long evolutionary history. Polyamine biosynthesis is modular: diamines are synthesized directly or indirectly from amino acids, and triamines are synthesized from diamines by transfer of aminopropyl, carboxyaminopropyl, or aminobutyl groups to the diamine. Diversification of polyamine biosynthesis has depended on gene duplication and functional divergence, on gene fusion, and on horizontal gene transfer. Four examples of polyamine biosynthetic diversification are presented here with a discussion of methodological and conceptual approaches for identification of new pathways.

Key words

Polyamine Evolution Biosynthetic diversity Metabolic pathway Operon Comparative genomics Functional genomics 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anthony J. Michael
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PharmacologyUniversity of Texas Southwestern Medical CenterDallasUSA

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