Irinotecan Hydrochloride Inj 40 & 100 mg is an anti-neoplastic agent belonging to the class of topoisomerase I inhibitors. It is a semi-synthetic derivative of camptothecin. Camptothecins interact specifically with the enzyme topoisomerase I. Topoisomerase I relieves torsional strain in DNA by inducing reversible single-strand breaks. Irinotecan and its active metabolite SN-38 bind to the topoisomerase I – DNA complex and prevent religation of these singlestrand breaks in the DNA. Current research suggests that cytotoxicity of irinotecan hydrochloride is due to double strand DNA damage produced during DNA synthesis when replication enzymes interact with the ternary complex formed by Topoisomerase I, DNA, and either irinotecan hydrochloride or SN-38. Mammalian cells cannot efficiently repair these double-strand breaks.
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