The Role of Spermidine and Its Key Metabolites in Important, Pathogenic Human Viruses and in Parasitic Infections Caused by Plasmodium falciparum and Trypanosoma brucei

The triamine spermidine is a key metabolite of the polyamine pathway. It plays a crucial role in many infectious diseases caused by viral or parasitic infections. Spermidine and its metabolizing enzymes, i.e., spermidine/spermine-N 1 -acetyltransferase, spermine oxidase, acetyl polyamine oxidase, and deoxyhypusine synthase, fulfill common functions during infection in parasitic protozoa and viruses which are obligate, intracellular parasites. The competition for this important polyamine between the infected host cell and the pathogen determines the severity of infection in disabling human parasites and pathogenic viruses. Here, we review the impact of spermidine and its metabolites in disease development of the most important, pathogenic human viruses such as SARS-CoV-2, HIV, Ebola, and in the human parasites Plasmodium and Trypanosomes . Moreover, state-of-the-art translational approaches to manipulate spermidine metabolism in the host and the pathogen are discussed to accelerate drug development against these threatful, infectious human diseases.


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