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DNA intercalators in cancer therapy: organic and inorganic drugs and their spectroscopic tools of analysis

Wheate, N.J. and Collins, J.G. and Kemp, S. and Aldrich-Wright, J.R. and Brodie, C.R. (2007) DNA intercalators in cancer therapy: organic and inorganic drugs and their spectroscopic tools of analysis. Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry, 7 (6). pp. 627-648. ISSN 1389-5575

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Abstract

Since the discovery of the DNA intercalation process by Lerman in 1961 thousands of organic, inorganic octahedral (particularly ruthenium(II) and rhodium(III)) and square-planar (particularly platinum(II)) compounds have been developed as potential anticancer agents and diagnostic agents. The design and synthesis of new drugs is focused on bis-intercalators which have two intercalating groups linked via a variety of ligands, and synergistic drugs, which combine the anticancer properties of intercalation with other functionalities, such as covalent binding or boron-cages (for radiation therapy). Advances in spectroscopic techniques mean that the process of DNA intercalation can be examined in far greater detail than ever before, yielding important information on structure-activity relationships. In this review we examine the history and development of DNA intercalators as anticancer agents and advances in the analysis of DNA-drug interactions.