The anthracycline antibiotics: antitumor drugs that alter chromatin structure
Article first published online: 20 DEC 2004
Copyright © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Volume 27, Issue 1, pages 50–56, January 2005
How to Cite
Rabbani, A., Finn, R. M. and Ausió, J. (2005), The anthracycline antibiotics: antitumor drugs that alter chromatin structure. Bioessays, 27: 50–56. doi: 10.1002/bies.20160
- Issue published online: 20 DEC 2004
- Article first published online: 20 DEC 2004
- This work was supported by a grant of the Research Council of the University of Tehran to A.R. and by a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) grant to J.A. (MOP-57718).
Anthracycline antibiotics are an important group of antitumor drugs widely used in cancer chemotherapy. However, despite the increasing interest in these chemotherapeutic agents, their mechanism of action is not yet completely understood. Here, we review what is currently known about the molecular mechanisms involved with special emphasis on the interaction of these drugs with chromatin and its constitutive components: DNA and histones. The evidence suggests that one very important component of the activity of these drugs is the result of these manifold interactions that lead to a chromatin unfolding and aggregation. This chromatin structural disruption is likely to interfere with the metabolic processes of DNA (replication and transcription) and it may play an important role in the apoptosis undergone by the cells upon treatment with these drugs. BioEssays 27:50–56, 2005. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.