1 Section I. Center for Healthy Aging, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet2 Molecular Aging Program, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet3 unknown4 Section I. Center for Healthy Aging, Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet
Agmatine (4-aminobutylguanidine), a dicationic molecule at physiological pH, exerts relevant modulatory actions at many different molecular target sites in mammalian cells, having been suggested that the administration of this compound may have therapeutic interest. Several plasma membrane transporters have been implicated in agmatine uptake by mammalian cells. Here we report that in kidney-derived COS-7cell line, at physiological agmatine levels, the general polyamine transporter participates in the plasma membrane translocation of agmatine, with an apparent Km of 44 ± 7 µM and V max of 17.3 ± 3.3 nmol h(-1) mg(-1) protein, but that at elevated concentrations, agmatine can be also taken up by other transport systems. In the first case, the physiological polyamines (putrescine, spermidine and spermine), several diguanidines and bis(2-aminoimidazolines) and the polyamine transport inhibitor AMXT-1501 markedly decreased agmatine uptake. In cells transfected with any of the three ornithine decarboxylase antizymes (AZ1, AZ2 and AZ3), agmatine uptake was dramatically reduced. On the contrary, transfection with antizyme inhibitors (AZIN1 and AZIN2) markedly increased the transport of agmatine. Furthermore, whereas putrescine uptake was significantly decreased in cells transfected with ornithine decarboxylase (ODC), the accumulation of agmatine was stimulated, suggesting a trans-activating effect of intracellular putrescine on agmatine uptake. All these results indicate that ODC and its regulatory proteins (antizymes and antizyme inhibitors) may influence agmatine homeostasis in mammalian tissues.