Light-induced modifications of DNA by gilvocarcin V and its aglycone

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1987 Mar 30;143(3):808-12. doi: 10.1016/0006-291x(87)90320-2.


Gilvocarcins are antitumor agents that have been reported to damage DNA upon activation by visible light. This activation is dependent on interaction with DNA. Here it is shown that gilvocarcin V and its synthetic aglycone analogue can both introduce single-strand scission into plasmid DNA. Light irradiation is required for the reaction. The binding of gilvocarcin V to plasmid DNA in the absence of light decreased the DNA linking number in a fashion similar to known intercalating agents such as ethidium bromide. The use of oligonucleotides as substrates for gilvocarcin V demonstrated that one of the steps of the reaction following binding of gilvocarcin V to DNA involves covalent modification at thymidine and to a lesser extent, cytosine residues.

MeSH terms

  • Aminoglycosides*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents*
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / pharmacology
  • Benzopyrans
  • Binding Sites
  • Coumarins
  • Cytosine
  • DNA / drug effects*
  • DNA / radiation effects
  • DNA Damage*
  • Glycosides / pharmacology
  • Naphthols / pharmacology*
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides
  • Photochemistry
  • Plasmids
  • Thymidine
  • Ultraviolet Rays


  • Aminoglycosides
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic
  • Benzopyrans
  • Coumarins
  • Glycosides
  • Naphthols
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides
  • gilvocarcin V
  • defucogilvocarcin V
  • Cytosine
  • DNA
  • Thymidine