Effects of O2 on the reactions of activated bleomycin

R. M. Burger, J. Peisach, S. B. Horwitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


The antitumor drug, bleomycin, interacts with either Fe(II) and O2 or Fe(III) and H2O2 to form an activated complex which attacks DNA. Under aerobic conditions, both reactions yield similar quantities of free bases and products consisting of base plus deoxyribose carbon atoms 1 to 3. Under anaerobic conditions, activated bleomycin releases only free base. The yield of free base is the same under aerobic or anaerobic conditions, provided DNA is furnished in excess. When the DNA concentration is limiting, more base is released under anaerobic than under aerobic conditions. Drug self-destruction proceeds as quickly and completely in the presence or absence of O2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3372-3375
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1982
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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