Molecular formula: C23H23N3O5. HCl
Molecular weight: 457.91
98 percent By HPLC
Topotecan, a semi-synthetic derivative of camptothecin (a plant alkaloid obtained from the Camptotheca acuminata tree), is an anti-tumor drug with topoisomerase I-inhibitory activity similar to irinotecan. Topotecan interferes with the growth of cancer cells, which are eventually destroyed. Since the growth of normal cells may also be affected by the medicine, other effects may also occur. Unlike irinotecan, topotecan is found predominantly in the inactive carboxylate form at neutral pH and it is not a prodrug.
Topotecan has the same mechanism of action as irinotecan. Topoisomerase I relieves torsional strain in DNA by inducing reversible single strand breaks. Topotecan binds to the topoisomerase I-DNA complex and prevents religation of these single strand breaks. The cytotoxicity of topotecan is thought to be due to double strand DNA damage produced during DNA synthesis when replication enzymes interact with the ternary complex formed by topotecan, topoisomerase I and DNA. Mammalian cells cannot efficiently repair these double strand breaks.
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