REVIEW Alkylating agents work by three different mechanisms: 1) attachment of alkyl groups to DNA bases, resulting in the DNA being fragmented by repair enzymes in their attempts to replace the alkylated bases, preventing DNA synthesis and RNA transcription from the affected DNA, 2) DNA damage via the formation of cross-links (bonds between atoms in the DNA) which prevents DNA from being separated for synthesis or transcription, and 3) the induction of mispairing of the nucleotides leading to mutations.
Brock N: The history of the oxazaphosphorine cytostatics. Cancer. 1996 Aug 1;78(3):542-7.
Brock N: Oxazaphosphorine cytostatics: past-present-future. Seventh Cain Memorial Award lecture. Cancer Res. 1989 Jan 1;49(1):1-7.
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