Before discussing the recent fluorometric studies of polyamine internalization, it is useful to summarize previous studies on the properties of polyamine transport in mammalian cells and on the subcellular compartmentalization of polyamines. Unfortunately, even at this stage, no molecular characterization of a polyamine transporter is yet available for animal species, although the very recent description of a polyamine permease in the parasite Leishmania major (12) may constitute a major step toward this goal. Our knowledge on the properties of mammalian polyamine carriers still relies on their physiological properties at the whole cell level.
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