Henry M Sobell*
Emeritus Professor of Chemistry and Molecular Biophysics, University of Rochester, Rochester, USA
Received Date: November 06, 2017; Accepted Date: November 07, 2017; Published Date: November 10, 2017
Citation: Sobell HM (2017) The Centers of Premeltons Signal the Beginning and Ends of Genes. Biochem Mol Biol J. Vol.3 No. 3:17. DOI: 10.21767/2471-8084.100045
Video 1: Video showing the dynamic structural mechanism that allows planar drugs and dyes to intercalate into DNA.
I have been asked to make some comments about actinomycin D [1-3] an antibiotic originally isolated by Selman Waxman in the early 1940’s, and then subsequently discovered by Sidney Farber to have powerful anticancer properties against rapidly growing embryonic tumors such as Wilm’s tumor of the kidney and choriocarcinoma a uterine tumor which arises abnormally during the early stages of pregnancy.
Actinomycin D is known to bind to DNA, primarily inhibiting the transcription of 5S ribosomal RNA within the nucleoli of rapidly dividing cells. Just how this happens is now more clearly understood, as will be presented in this video above (Video 1).
The video begins by summarizing our earlier X-ray crystallographic work at the University of Rochester this leading to an understanding of the dynamic structural mechanism that allows planar drugs and dyes to intercalate into DNA. This same dynamic structural mechanism explains the physical basis of DNA “breathing” and “melting” deepening our understanding of the initiation, elongation and termination of RNA synthesis by the RNA polymerase accompanying transcription.
It explains how actinomycin interferes with DNA transcription and in so doing suggests that trace amounts of actinomycin given over an extended period of time be a powerful anticancer regimen in the treatment of many different kinds of cancer.
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