Polyamines exert an essential role in cell proliferation and development. The cellular concentration of these small organic molecules is tightly regulated and their cellular uptake actively modulated via the polyamine transporters (PAT). The apparent critical influence of polyamines on cell development and survival and their recognition by the PAT have both led to polyamines being increasingly considered for the development of a range of chemotherapeutic agents. In this review, we discuss how polyamine chains attached to cytotoxic molecules have been used to aid their transport into tumour cells. Furthermore, the ability of polyamine analogues and derivatives to modulate polyamine biosynthesis and apoptosis induction is assessed. Specifically, novel intercalating naphthalimido compounds bearing an amino or polyamine chains are highlighted.
Keywords: ornithine decarboxylase, polyamine transporters, Apoptosis, hydrogen peroxide, Oligoamines, Naphthalimide Chromophore
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