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Eur J Med Chem. 2014 Mar 3;74:95-115. doi: 10.1016/j.ejmech.2013.11.029. Epub 2014 Jan 3.

Recent advances in small organic molecules as DNA intercalating agents: synthesis, activity, and modeling.

Author information

1
Dipartimento di Scienze del Farmaco, Università di Catania, Viale Andrea Doria 6, 95125 Catania, Italy. Electronic address: arescifina@unict.it.
2
Dipartimento di Scienze del Farmaco, Università di Catania, Viale Andrea Doria 6, 95125 Catania, Italy.

Abstract

The interaction of small molecules with DNA plays an essential role in many biological processes. As DNA is often the target for majority of anticancer and antibiotic drugs, study about the interaction of drug and DNA has a key role in pharmacology. Moreover, understanding the interactions of small molecules with DNA is of prime significance in the rational design of more powerful and selective anticancer agents. Two of the most important and promising targets in cancer chemotherapy include DNA alkylating agents and DNA intercalators. For these last the DNA recognition is a critical step in their anti-tumor action and the intercalation is not only one kind of the interactions in DNA recognition but also a pivotal step of several clinically used anti-tumor drugs such as anthracyclines, acridines and anthraquinones. To push clinical cancer therapy, the discovery of new DNA intercalators has been considered a practical approach and a number of intercalators have been recently reported. The intercalative binding properties of such molecules can also be harnessed as diagnostic probes for DNA structure in addition to DNA-directed therapeutics. Moreover, the problem of intercalation site formation in the undistorted B-DNA of different length and sequence is matter of tremendous importance in molecular modeling studies and, nowadays, three models of DNA intercalation targets have been proposed that account for the binding features of intercalators. Finally, despite DNA being an important target for several drugs, most of the docking programs are validated only for proteins and their ligands. Therefore, a default protocol to identify DNA binding modes which uses a modified canonical DNA as receptor is needed.

KEYWORDS:

Anticancer agents; Cancer chemotherapy; DNA intercalators; Docking; Drug discovery; Molecular modeling

PMID:
24448420
DOI:
10.1016/j.ejmech.2013.11.029
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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