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n. (context organic chemistry English) any compound having many (more than three) amino functional groups; especially such compounds formed by decomposition of proteins


A polyamine is an organic compound having two or more primary amino groups .

Low-molecular-weight linear polyamines perform essential functions in all living cells. Primary examples are putrescine, cadaverine, spermidine, and spermine. In animals, their levels are maintained from both the diet and de novo synthesis, and their decline with age is associated with various pathologies. Polyamine metabolism is regulated by the activity of the enzyme ornithine decarboxylase (ODC). Polyamines are found in high concentrations in the mammalian brain.

This class of compounds also includes several synthetic substances that are important feedstocks for the chemical industry, such as ethylene diamine , 1,3-diaminopropane , and hexamethylenediamine . Certain polyamines are employed on industrial scales as co-reactants (hardeners) with epoxy resins.

As of 2004, there had been no reports of any geminal diamine, a compound with two or more unsubstituted groups on the same carbon atom. However, substituted derivatives are known, such as tetraethylmethylenediamine, .

Piperazine is an example of a cyclic polyamine. Cyclen and cyclam are examples of macrocyclic polyamines. Polyethylene amine is a polymer based on the aziridine monomer. Most aromatic polyamines are crystalline solids at room temperature.