The polyamines are ubiquitous and essential organic cations in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. This book is a comprehensive survey of the development of knowledge of their physiological and structural roles. Currently, the genetic and regulatory determinants of the amines and their cellular composition are being explored actively as parameters of normal physiology and aberrant pathologies. Cancer, virus infection, and protozoan parasitism are major examples of the later groups. Studies of the control of polyamine metabolism are providing important therapeutic leads. Further, the structural roles of the amines are being determined at molecular levels, contributing to the understanding of polynucleotide and protein organization and interaction, as well as to the solution of problems of genome transfer. These subjects describe a burgeoning biochemical area involving compounds whose roles in cytoplasmic and nuclear function include numerous aspects of organelle structure, polymer synthesis, and interactions.
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Seymour S. Cohen, American Cancer Society Research Professor, State University of New York at Stony Brook (Emeritus).Review:
"Cohen has been a leading and revered figure in polyamine research for many years while also achieving international recognition in several other fields, including virology, anti-cancer drug development and studies of the history of science...This book will point the interested reader in any
direction concerning polyamines that he or she wishes to go. It is the type of detailed review of a field that sadly appears only rarely in print and even more rarely on the shelves of libraries that have limited budgets. I will certainly urge my graduate students to read it in detail..."
"No doubt, A Guide to the Polyamines is not only an extraordinary achievement of a single author at a time, when multi-author books are the rule, with the enormous advantage of a coherent, harmonized and critical description of all aspects of a multifaceted research area. It is also an
eminent event in the scientific literature. A Guide will serve present and future generations of biochemists, molecular biologists, microbiologists, parasitologists, physiologists and oncologists, as well as advanced students of biology, among others, as the source of information, if their work
requires knowledge of the polyamines. But it is more than an expert's overview of a family of cationic compounds (which until recently have been widely neglected in favor of anionic compounds). This book is fascinating reading, and an intellectual challenge for all those who kept a broad interest
in important developments of contemporary biology."--Quarterly Review of Biology
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