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Diverse Functions of Polyamines in Virus Infection

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago, Maywood, IL 60153, USA
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Biomolecules 2020, 10(4), 628; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom10040628
Received: 6 March 2020 / Revised: 10 April 2020 / Accepted: 15 April 2020 / Published: 18 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biogenic Polyamines and Related Metabolites)
As obligate intracellular parasites, viruses rely on host cells for the building blocks of progeny viruses. Metabolites such as amino acids, nucleotides, and lipids are central to viral proteins, genomes, and envelopes, and the availability of these molecules can restrict or promote infection. Polyamines, comprised of putrescine, spermidine, and spermine in mammalian cells, are also critical for virus infection. Polyamines are small, positively charged molecules that function in transcription, translation, and cell cycling. Initial work on the function of polyamines in bacteriophage infection illuminated these molecules as critical to virus infection. In the decades since early virus-polyamine descriptions, work on diverse viruses continues to highlight a role for polyamines in viral processes, including genome packaging and viral enzymatic activity. On the host side, polyamines function in the response to virus infection. Thus, viruses and hosts compete for polyamines, which are a critical resource for both. Pharmacologically targeting polyamines, tipping the balance to favor the host and restrict virus replication, holds significant promise as a broad-spectrum antiviral strategy. View Full-Text
Keywords: polyamines; viruses; host–virus interactions; metabolism polyamines; viruses; host–virus interactions; metabolism
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MDPI and ACS Style

Firpo, M.R.; Mounce, B.C. Diverse Functions of Polyamines in Virus Infection. Biomolecules 2020, 10, 628. https://doi.org/10.3390/biom10040628

AMA Style

Firpo MR, Mounce BC. Diverse Functions of Polyamines in Virus Infection. Biomolecules. 2020; 10(4):628. https://doi.org/10.3390/biom10040628

Chicago/Turabian Style

Firpo, Mason R., and Bryan C. Mounce 2020. "Diverse Functions of Polyamines in Virus Infection" Biomolecules 10, no. 4: 628. https://doi.org/10.3390/biom10040628

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