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An Advance On New Generations Of Chemotherapy And Antiviral Drugs

Date:
September 12, 2008
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Researchers are describing progress toward developing a new generation of chemotherapy agents that target and block uncontrolled DNA replication — a hallmark of cancer, viral infections, and other diseases — more effectively than current drugs in ways that may produce fewer side effects. 

Illustration of DNA polymerase moving along the length of a DNA strand. Researchers are targeting new chemotherapy drugs that efficiently block uncontrolled DNA replication while minimizing side effects.
Credit: The Protein Data Bank

Researchers are describing progress toward developing a new generation of chemotherapy agents that target and block uncontrolled DNA replication — a hallmark of cancer, viral infections, and other diseases — more effectively than current drugs in ways that may produce fewer side effects. 

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In the article, Anthony J. Berdis updates and reviews worldwide research efforts to develop drugs that target DNA polymerases, the enzymes responsible for assembling DNA from its component parts. Several promising strategies are already in use that inhibit uncontrolled DNA replication, particularly in anticancer therapy, but most produce severe side effects and are hampered by drug resistance, the researcher notes.

Berdis says that one of the more promising strategies to date involves the use of so-called nucleoside analogues, artificial pieces of DNA that inhibit replication by substituting for natural segments.

Most nucleoside analogues directly target the active site of the polymerase enzyme, a non-specific approach that can also harm healthy cells which contain the enzyme. Berdis describes an alternative approach in which the drugs directly target damaged DNA while avoiding healthy DNA, side-stepping the polymerase enzymes of normal cells. The development, which shows promise in preliminary lab studies, could lead to improved nucleoside analogues with fewer side effects, he says.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Berdis et al. DNA Polymerases as Therapeutic Targets. Biochemistry, 2008; 47 (32): 8253 DOI: 10.1021/bi801179f

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "An Advance On New Generations Of Chemotherapy And Antiviral Drugs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 September 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080908102923.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2008, September 12). An Advance On New Generations Of Chemotherapy And Antiviral Drugs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080908102923.htm
American Chemical Society. "An Advance On New Generations Of Chemotherapy And Antiviral Drugs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080908102923.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

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