U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Herbert Tabor
 

 Contact Info

 
Tel: 301-496-2562
Email: tabor@helix.nih.gov
 

 Select Experience

 
  • Intern in MedicineNew Haven Hospital, Yale Medical School1942-1943
  • ResearcherDepartment of Biological Chemistry, Harvard Medical School1941
  • Intern in MedicineNew Haven Hospital, Yale Medical School, 1942-1943Researcher, Department of Biological Chemistry, Harvard Medical School, 1941Student, College of the City of New York1933-1935
  • M.D.Harvard Medical School1941
  • A.B.Harvard College1937
 

 Related Links

 

    Herbert Tabor, M.D.

    Senior Investigator, Laboratory of Biochemistry and GeneticsPharmacology Section
    Specialties
    • Molecular Biology/Biochemistry

    Research Summary

    Research Goal

    The purpose of our research is to learn more about the physiological function and importance of the polyamines, and their role in health and disease. 

    Current Research

    The polyamines putrescine, spermidine, and spermine are major polybasic compounds in all living cells.  Research indicates that these amines are important for many systems related to growth and differentiation.  We are interested in their physiologic functions, mechanisms of polyamine synthesis, regulation of their biosynthesis and degradation, and how they act in vivo.  For this purpose, we have constructed null mutants in each of the biosynthetic steps in both Escherichia coli and in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.  These mutants cannot make these amines; hence they are very useful tools to study the physiological effects due to their deprivation. 

    Our present research focuses on extending our studies on the biochemistry, regulation, and genetics of these amines and of the biosynthetic enzymes in S. cerevisiae and E. coli.  Our work has demonstrated that the polyamines are required for growth of the organisms, their sporulation, maintenance of the killer dsRNA virus, protection against oxidative damage, protection against elevated temperatures, fidelity of protein biosynthesis, and for the maintenance of mitochondria.  We have constructed clones that overproduce the various enzymes and have studied the sequence and structural characteristics of these enzymes.  Our research concentrates on the structure and regulation of ornithine decarboxylase, spermidine synthase, spermine synthase, and S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase.​

    Applying our Research

    The polyamines are important in growth and development, particularly in the growth of cancer cells.  We hope that this research will lead to effective therapies for various diseases such as cancer.

    Need for Further Study

    The physiologic function of these amines in bacteria, plants, and eukaryotes requires further study.  This is particularly true for mammalian cells, including cancer cells.  Eventually, we should consider studies on analogs with therapeutic importance.