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Anthracyclines as Topoisomerase II Poisons: From Early Studies to New Perspectives

Anthracyclines as Topoisomerase II Poisons: From Early Studies to New Perspectives

International Journal of Molecular Sciences 19(11)

Mammalian DNA topoisomerases II are targets of anticancer anthracyclines that act by stabilizing enzyme-DNA complexes wherein DNA strands are cut and covalently linked to the protein. This molecular mechanism is the molecular basis of anthracycline anticancer activity as well as the toxic effects such as cardiomyopathy and induction of secondary cancers. Even though anthracyclines have been used in the clinic for more than 50 years for solid and blood cancers, the search of breakthrough analogs has substantially failed. The recent developments of personalized medicine, availability of individual genomic information, and immune therapy are expected to change significantly human cancer therapy. Here, we discuss the knowledge of anthracyclines as Topoisomerase II poisons, their molecular and cellular effects and toxicity along with current efforts to improve the therapeutic index. Then, we discuss the contribution of the immune system in the anticancer activity of anthracyclines, and the need to increase our knowledge of molecular mechanisms connecting the drug targets to the immune stimulatory pathways in cancer cells. We propose that the complete definition of the molecular interaction of anthracyclines with the immune system may open up more effective and safer ways to treat patients with these drugs.

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Accession: 065693527

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 30404148

DOI: 10.3390/ijms19113480

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