The polyamines, spermidine (Spd) and spermine, and their diamine precursor putrescine, are important regulators of various cellular functions, such as proliferation and differentiation. Polyamine homeostasis is tightly regulated on the level of uptake, excretion, biosynthesis, interconversion and terminal catabolism. The rate-controlling enzymes of polyamine biosynthesis and interconversion are ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) and spermidine/spermine N1-acetyltransferase (SSAT), respectively. Here, we describe a protocol to assay ODC (Jänne and Williams-Ashman, 1971) and SSAT (Libby, 1978) activities from cell or tissue samples.
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