Polyamine metabolism and cell-cycle-dependent gene expression in IMR-90 human diploid fibroblasts during senescence in culture

Kuang Yu Chen, Zee Fen Chang, Jong Hwei Pang, Guo Shun He, Alice Y.C. Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Aging of IMR-90 human diploid fibroblasts in culture is accompanied by specific changes of polyamine metabolism including: (a) a fivefold decrease of serum-induced activity of ornithine decarboxylase (ODC1 EC; (b) a six to tenfold increase of polyamine catabolism; and (c) a reduction of putrescine uptake. These changes apparently led to a significant reduction of putrescine accumulation in senescent cells following serum stimulation. Since the induction of ODC is a mid-G1 event, the change of polyamine metabolism may be related to changes of expression of other cell-cycle-dependent genes during cellular aging. In addition to ODC gene, we have examined the expression of two early G1 genes, c-erbB and c-myc, and one late G1/S gene thymidine kinase, at mRNA levels, in both young and old IMR-90 cells. We have also compared the enzyme activities of two late G1/S genes, thymidine kinase and thymidylate synthetase, in young and old cells following serum stimulation. We did not observe significant changes of c-erbB, c-myc, and ODC mRNA levels during cellular senescence. However, we found that serum-induced mRNA level of thymidine kinase gene in old IMR-90 cells was significantly reduced compared to that in the young cells. Results also demonstrate that aging of IMR-90 cells was accompanied by significant decrease of both thymidine kinase and thymidylate synthetase activities. In view of the recognized importance of polyamines in growth regulation, it is possible that alteration of polyamine metabolism may contribute to the impairment of expression of some key G1/S genes and such impairment may contribute to the ultimate loss of dividing potential in senescent cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)523-537
Number of pages15
JournalExperimental Gerontology
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - 1989

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Aging
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology


  • c-myc
  • cell cycle
  • cellular aging
  • ornithine decarboxylase
  • polyamines
  • thymidine kinase


Dive into the research topics of 'Polyamine metabolism and cell-cycle-dependent gene expression in IMR-90 human diploid fibroblasts during senescence in culture'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this