|ATC code||L01DA01 (WHO)|
|Biological half-life||36 hours|
2-Amino- 4,6-dimethyl- 3-oxo- 3H-phenoxazine- 1,9-dicarboxylic acid bis- [(5,12-diisopropyl- 9,13,16-trimethyl- 4,7,11,14,17-pentaoxo- hexadecahydro- 10-oxa- 3a,6,13,16-tetraaza- cyclopentacyclohexadecen- 8-yl)- amide]
|Chemical and physical data|
|Molar mass||1255.42 g/mol|
|(what is this?)|
Dactinomycin, also known as actinomycin D, is the most significant member of actinomycines, which are a class of polypeptide antitumor antibiotics isolated from soil bacteria of the genus Streptomyces. It is one of the older anticancer drugs, and has been used for many years.
Actinomycin is a clear, yellow liquid administered intravenously and most commonly used in treatment of a variety of cancers, including:
- Gestational trophoblastic neoplasia
- Wilms' tumor
- Ewing's sarcoma
- Malignant hydatidiform mole
It is also used as a radiosensitizer in adjunct to radiotherapies, since it can increase the radiosensitivity of tumor cells by inhibiting repair of sublethal radiation damage and delay the onset of the compensatory hyperplasia that occurs following irradiation.
In cell biology, actinomycin D is shown to have the ability to inhibit transcription. Actinomycin D does this by binding DNA at the transcription initiation complex and preventing elongation of RNA chain by RNA polymerase.
Actinomycin D was the first antibiotic shown to have anti-cancer activity. It was first isolated by Selman Waksman and his co-worker H. B. Woodruff in 1940. It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on December 10, 1964 and launched by Merck Sharp and Dohme under the trade name Cosmegen.
Because actinomycin can bind DNA duplexes, it can also interfere with DNA replication, although other chemicals such as hydroxyurea are better suited for use in the laboratory as inhibitors of DNA synthesis.
Actinomycin D and its fluorescent derivative, 7-aminoactinomycin D (7-AAD), are used as stains in microscopy and flow cytometry applications. The affinity of these stains/compounds for GC-rich regions of DNA strands makes them excellent markers for DNA. 7-AAD binds to single stranded DNA; therefore it is a useful tool in determining apoptosis and distinguishing between dead cells and live ones.
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