Dna As Target For Anticancer Drugs

The structure of the DNA molecule makes it an extremely versatile target for anticancer drugs. It has a negatively charged phosphate backbone, hydrogen accepting and donating functional groups from the bases in the major and minor grooves, phosphate oxygen atoms and aromatic hydrophobic components of the bases able to promote van der Waals interactions. DNA is polymorphic, and has been observed in several different conformations (e.g. A, B, Z etc.) that differ in the geometry of the double helix, including the depth and width of major and minor grooves (Saenger, 1984). The groove shapes and hydration patterns in a particular conformation are also sequence dependent to certain extent. Along with these, the molecule of DNA also has several levels of structural organization. The most basic level is the primary base sequence. The roll, tilt and twist from one base pair to the next in the double strand depend on the base, thereby giving rise to sequence dependent microheterogeneity in the DNA backbone. The bending of the backbone arising from stretches of A-bases is probably the extreme example of such feature. The small and large DNA binding ligands recognizes this structural variability along the double helix. It leads to sequence specific recognition. Higher levels of organization include the DNA secondary structures, such as hairpins, and Holliday junctions, triple helices and DNA quadruplexes. All of the above features have been exhaustively exploited in designing anticancer drugs.

10 Ways To Fight Off Cancer

10 Ways To Fight Off Cancer

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