Role of antizyme inhibitor proteins in cancers and beyond

Vennela Tulluri, Venkatesh V. Nemmara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Polyamines are multivalent organic cations essential for many cellular functions, including cell growth, differentiation, and proliferation. However, elevated polyamine levels are associated with a slew of pathological conditions, including multiple cancers. Intracellular polyamine levels are primarily controlled by the autoregulatory circuit compris-ing two different protein types, Antizymes (OAZ) and Antizyme Inhibitors (AZIN), which regulate the activity of the polyamine biosynthetic enzyme ornithine decarboxylase (ODC). While OAZ functions to decrease the intracellular polyamine levels by inhibiting ODC activity and exerting a negative control of polyamine uptake, AZIN operates to increase intracellular polyamine levels by binding and sequestering OAZ to relieve ODC inhibition and to increase polyamine uptake. Interestingly, OAZ and AZIN exhibit autoregulatory functions on polyamine independent pathways as well. A growing body of evidence demon-strates the dysregulation of AZIN expression in multiple cancers. Additionally, RNA editing of the Azin1 transcript results in a “gain-of-function” phenotype, which is shown to drive aggressive tumor types. This review will discuss the recent advances in AZIN’s role in cancers via aberrant polyamine upregulation and its polyamine-independent protein regula-tion. This report will also highlight AZIN interaction with proteins outside the polyamine biosynthetic pathway and its potential implication to cancer pathogenesis. Finally, this review will reveal the protein interaction network of AZIN isoforms by analyzing three different interactome databases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)667-682
Number of pages16
JournalOncoTargets and Therapy
StatePublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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