The polyamine-hypusine axis catalyses the formation of hypusine (pictured). This is a non-standard aminoacid contained uniquely in the eukaryotic translation initiation factor 5A protein (eIF5A).
Claudio Scuoppo, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York, USA, and colleagues discovered that hypusine synthesis suppresses tumor formation. The researchers examined mice lacking some of the enzymes constituting the polyamine-hypusine axis such as adenosylmethionine dercarboxylase 1, spermidine synthase or deoxypusine synthase. Using this model, they demonstrated that the absence of either one of these enzymes promotes lymphoma development.
The scientists, moreover, showed that human B cell non Hodgkin’s lymphoma samples are frequently mutated in the genes involved in hypusinilation, thus revealing the clinical importance of this biochemical pathway.
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