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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Graduate School

First Advisor

David S. Fries

First Committee Member

Michael J. Minch

Second Committee Member

Madhukar G. Chaubal

Third Committee Member

James W. Blankenship

Fourth Committee Member

Alice Jean Matuszak


Polyamines are ubiquitously present in all living cells. The abnormal metabolism of polyamines that is associated with certain types of cancers has been the focus of several investigations. Enzymes that are involved in the transacetylation of polyamines have been studied extensively, so as to develop inhibitors of these enzymes which may be used as drugs in cancer therapy. Based on indirect evidence, the nuclear spermidine acetyltransferase has been thought to be a critical enzyme that is associated with genetic derepression leading to cancerous growth. In the present study a novel, rapid, sensitive and highly reproducible radio chemical procedure has been developed for assaying spermidine (polyamine) acetylation. The study contains data showing range of linearity of the procedure, percent product recovery, as well as low interference from the unreacted acetyl coenzyme A. Rat liver nuclear spermidine acetyltransferase has been purified using the biochemical procedures annmonium sulfate precipitation, DEAE chromatography, Hydroxyapatite chromatography, Diaminobutyl agarose chromatography and Polyacrylamide P-300 gel filtration. The enzyme obtained at the end of such procedures was found to be essentially homogeneous as seen on native gel electrophoresis. The purified enzyme has been shown to have an isoelectric point of 5.2. Bicine and Hepes were found to be more suitable as buffering species for good enzyme activity. The enzymatic reaction velocity was found to increase with temperature upto 36$\sp\circ$C and was found to increase linearly up to four minutes under non limiting conditions in the presence of 20% glycerol. Using the purified enzyme it has also been established that of the three nuclear polyamines, spermidine is the preferred substrate. The apparent Km for acetyl Co A with spermidine as substrate was found to be about 5 mM. The purified enzyme does acetylate histones. All the substrate analogs containing aminobutylamino group are acetylated by the enzyme.



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