Polyamines are small polycationic molecules found in almost all cells and associated with a wide variety of physiological processes. In recent years it has become increasingly clear that, in addition to core physiological functions, polyamines play a crucial role in bacterial pathogenesis. Considerable evidence has built up that bacteria have evolved mechanisms to turn these molecules to their own advantage and a novel standpoint to look at host-bacterium interactions emerges from the interplay among polyamines, host cells and infecting bacteria. In this review, we highlight how human bacterial pathogens have developed their own resourceful strategies to exploit polyamines or manipulate polyamine-related processes to optimize their fitness within the host. Besides contributing to a better understanding of the complex relationship between a pathogen and its host, acquisitions in this field have a significant potential towards the development of novel antibacterial therapeutic approaches.
Di Martino, M.L., Campilongo, R., Casalino, M.A., Micheli, G., Colonna, B., Prosseda, G. (2013). Polyamines: emerging players in bacteria-host interactions. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MEDICAL MICROBIOLOGY, 303(8), 484-491 [10.1016/j.ijmm.2013.06.008].