Hypothesis & Theory ARTICLE

Front. Immunol., 16 April 2013 | doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2013.00091

Increased polyamines alter chromatin and stabilize autoantigens in autoimmune diseases

  • Department of Chemistry, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA

Polyamines are small cations with unique combinations of charge and length that give them many putative interactions in cells. Polyamines are essential since they are involved in replication, transcription, translation, and stabilization of macro-molecular complexes. However, polyamine synthesis competes with cellular methylation for S-adenosylmethionine, the methyl donor. Also, polyamine degradation can generate reactive molecules like acrolein. Therefore, polyamine levels are tightly controlled. This control may be compromised in autoimmune diseases since elevated polyamine levels are seen in autoimmune diseases. Here a hypothesis is presented explaining how polyamines can stabilize autoantigens. In addition, the hypothesis explains how polyamines can inappropriately activate enzymes involved in NETosis, a process in which chromatin is modified and extruded from cells as extracellular traps that bind pathogens during an immune response. This polyamine-induced enzymatic activity can lead to an increase in NETosis resulting in release of autoantigenic material and tissue damage.

Keywords: polyamines, NETosis, autoimmune disease, peptidylarginine deiminase, nuclear aggregates of polyamines, neutrophil extracellular TRAPs

Citation: Brooks WH (2013) Increased polyamines alter chromatin and stabilize autoantigens in autoimmune diseases. Front. Immunol. 4:91. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2013.00091

Received: 11 March 2013; Accepted: 04 April 2013;
Published online: 17 April 2013.

Edited by:

Johan Van Der Vlag, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Netherlands

Reviewed by:

Johan Van Der Vlag, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Netherlands
Martin Herrmann, Universitätsklinikum Erlangen, Germany

Copyright: © 2013 Brooks. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited and subject to any copyright notices concerning any third-party graphics etc.

*Correspondence: Wesley H. Brooks, Department of Chemistry, University of South Florida, 4202 East Fowler Avenue, CHE205 Tampa, FL 33620, USA. e-mail: wesleybrooks@mindspring.com; wesleybrooks@usf.edu

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