Dynamic Aspects of Antibiotic-DNA Interaction

  • Michael Waring
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 137)


The DNA molecule is a target for a variety of chemotherapeutic agents, including numerous antibiotics (Figure 1). Among them are antibacterial, antiviral and antiprotozoal compounds, but probably most important as regards the frontiers of chemotherapy are the anticancer drugs. A quarter of a century has elapsed since actinomycin was first identified as a DNA-binder whose antitumour activity could be attributed to its capacity to distort the structure and function of DNA (reviewed by Reich and Goldberg, 1964; Sobell, 1973; Gale et al., 1981). During that time increasingly sophisticated experiments have been performed to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of antibiotic-DNA interaction and to attempt to relate those interactions to biological activity (Gale et al., 1981; Waring, 1981). Here we shall be mainly concerned with a group of cyclic depsipeptide antibiotics called the quinoxalines, of which echinomycin (Figure 2) is the best-known member (Waring, 1979; Waring and Fox, 1983).


Nucleosome Position Nucleosome Core Histone Octamer Nucleosome Core Particle Antibiotic Molecule 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Waring
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology Medical SchoolUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeEngland

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