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........ published in NEWSLETTER # 58

by Professor B. Meunier, CNRS, Toulouse (France)

The past decade has witnessed a burst of activity and interest in the discovery and design of drugs that cleave DNA and RNA with sequence-specificity. This interest stems from the potential of this class of compounds to be useful as therapeutics agents, in particular in the field of the treatment of cancer and viral diseases. Furthermore a side benefit of such studies is the discovery of novel mechanisms and uses of such agents as tools in the study of structure and function of nucleic acids.

DNA and RNA cleavage include different areas such as enediyne antibiotics and their synthetic analogues, bleomycin-metal complexes, metal-drug complexes, ribozymes and ribozyme mimics, and antisense and antigene oligonucleotides. Key speakers of a NATO Workshop focused on DNA and RNA cleavers accepted to contribute to the first book devoted to this area by sharing their common interests and scientific approaches (NATO ASI SERIES C479). Twenty-five chapters have been produced by well- established experts on DNA cleavage by enediyne molecules. The book will be useful for chemists, biochemists, pharmacologists and molecular biologists involved in the development of new research approaches in the field of DNA and RNA cleavage.
Reference books: A20, A73, A143, A209, A232, C479, H75

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