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Polyamines are positively charged hydrocarbons that are essential for the growth and cellular maintenance in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Polyamines have been demonstrated to play a role in bacterial pathogenicity and biofilm formation. However, the role of extracellular polyamines as a signaling molecule in the regulation of virulence is not investigated in detail. The bacterial pathogens residing in the respiratory tract remain asymptomatic for an extended period; however, the factors that lead to symptomatic behavior are poorly understood. Further investigation to understand the relation between the host-secreted factors and virulence of pathogenic bacteria in the respiratory tract may provide insights into the pathogenesis of respiratory tract infections. Polyamines produced within the bacterial cell are generally sequestered. Therefore, the pool of extracellular polyamines formed by secretion of the commensals and the host may be one of the signaling molecules that might contribute toward the alterations in the expression of virulence factors in bacterial pathogens. Besides, convergent mechanisms of polyamine biosynthesis do exist across the border of species and genus level. Also, several novel polyamine transporters in the host and bacteria remain yet to be identified. The review focuses on the role of polyamines in the expression of virulence phenotypes and biofilm formation of the respiratory tract pathogens. © 2020 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Rajashri Banerji, Poonam Kanojiya, Amrita Patil, Sunil D Saroj. Polyamines in the virulence of bacterial pathogens of respiratory tract. Molecular oral microbiology. 2021 Feb;36(1):1-11

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PMID: 32979241

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