Antineoplastic DNA-Binding Compounds: Intercalating and Minor Groove Binding Drugs

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DNA intercalating and minor groove binding compounds are new weapons in the battle against malignant diseases. These antineoplastic agents target the DNA molecule and interfere with the cell cycle leading to rapidly proliferating cell death. They are mainly derivates of a naturally occurring organic compound derived from a microorganism or plant. Intercalators usually act as topoisomerase I and/or II poisons, while the mechanisms of DNA minor groove binders are a combination of several steps including topoisomerase poisoning. This paper gives an overview of some of the developed DNA intercalating and minor groove binding compounds, as well as an explanation of their chemical structures, origins, and application in chemotherapy.

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