antibiotics, anthracyclinemedical dictionary

Antibiotics which have a tetrahydronaphthacenedione ring structure attached by a glycosidic linkage to a sugar molecule. These antibiotics have potent antineoplastic activity. The two best known members of this group are daunorubicin and doxorubicin. Since these agents intercalate with DNA, many DNA functions are adversely affected. Futhermore they interact with cell membranes thereby altering their functions and also generate hydrogen peroxide and hydroxy radicals which are highly destructive to cells.

(12 Dec 1998)