|Systematic (IUPAC) name|
|Legal status||℞ Prescription only|
|Synonyms||2-Amino- 4,6-dimethyl- 3-oxo- 3H-phenoxazine- 1,9-dicarboxylic acid bis- [(5,12-diisopropyl- 9,13,16-trimethyl- 4,7,11,14,17-pentaoxo- hexadecahydro- 10-oxa- 3a,6,13,16-tetraaza- cyclopentacyclohexadecen- 8-yl)- amide]|
|Mol. mass||1255.42 g/mol|
| (what is this?)
Actinomycin D (also known generically as Actinomycin or Dactinomycin), is the most significant member of actinomycines, which are a class of polypeptide antibiotics isolated from soil bacteria of the genus Streptomyces. As one of the older chemotherapy drugs, it has been used for many years.
Actinomycin D was the first antibiotic shown to have anti-cancer activity. It was first isolated by Selman Waksman and his co-worker H. B. Woodruff in 1940. It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on December 10, 1964 and launched by Merck Sharp and Dohme under the trade name Cosmegen.
In cell biology, Actinomycin D is shown to have the ability to inhibit transcription. It does this by binding DNA at the transcription initiation complex and preventing elongation of RNA chain by RNA polymerase.
Clinical use 
Actinomycin is a clear, yellow liquid administered intravenously and most commonly used in treatment of a variety of cancers, including:
- Gestational trophoblastic neoplasia
- Wilms' tumor
- Ewing's sarcoma
- Malignant hydatidiform mole
It is also used as a radiosensitizer in adjunct to radiotherapies, since it can increase the radiosensitivity of tumor cells by inhibiting repair of sublethal radiation damage and delay the onset of the compensatory hyperplasia that occurs following irradiation.
Side effects 
Research use 
Because Actinomycin can bind DNA duplexes, it can also interfere with DNA replication, although other chemicals such as hydroxyurea are better suited for use in the laboratory as inhibitors of DNA synthesis.
Actinomycin D and its fluorescent derivative, 7-aminoactinomycin D (7-AAD), are used as stains in microscopy and flow cytometry applications. The affinity of these stains/compounds for GC-rich regions of DNA strands makes them excellent markers for DNA. 7-AAD binds to single stranded DNA; therefore it is a useful tool in determining apoptosis and distinguishing between dead cells and live ones.
- Hollstein, U. (1974). "Actinomycin. Chemistry and mechanism of action". Chemical Reviews 74 (6): 625–652. doi:10.1021/cr60292a002.
- Waksman S A, Woodruff H B (1940). "Bacteriostatic and bacteriocidal substances produced by soil actinomycetes". Proc Soc Exper Biol 45: 609–614.
- Sobell H (1985). "Actinomycin and DNA transcription". Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 82 (16): 5328–31. doi:10.1073/pnas.82.16.5328. PMC 390561. PMID 2410919.
- Turan T, Karacay O, Tulunay G, Boran N, Koc S, Bozok S, Kose M (2006). "Results with EMA/CO (etoposide, methotrexate, actinomycin D, cyclophosphamide, vincristine) chemotherapy in gestational trophoblastic neoplasia". Int J Gynecol Cancer 16 (3): 1432–8. doi:10.1111/j.1525-1438.2006.00606.x. PMID 16803542.
- Abd El-Aal H, Habib E, Mishrif M (2005). "Wilms' Tumor: The Experience of the Pediatric Unit of Kasr El-Aini Center of Radiation Oncology and Nuclear Medicine (NEMROCK)". J Egypt Natl Canc Inst 17 (4): 308–11. PMID 17102824.
- Khatua S, Nair C, Ghosh K (2004). "Immune-mediated thrombocytopenia following dactinomycin therapy in a child with alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma: the unresolved issues". J Pediatr Hematol Oncol 26 (11): 777–9. doi:10.1097/00043426-200411000-00020. PMID 15543019.
- Jaffe, N.; Paed, D.; Traggis, D.; Salian, S.; Cassady, J. R. (1976). "Improved outlook for Ewing's sarcoma with combination chemotherapy (vincristine, actinomycin D and cyclophosphamide) and radiation therapy". Cancer 38 (5): 1925–1930. doi:10.1002/1097-0142(197611)38:5<1925::AID-CNCR2820380510>3.0.CO;2-J. PMID 991106.
- Uberti, E. M. H.; Fajardo, M. D. C.; Ferreira, S. V. V. R.; Pereira, M. C. V.; Seger, R. C.; Moreira, M. A. L. R.; Torres, M. D.; De Nápoli, G. et al. (2009). "Reproductive outcome after discharge of patients with high-risk hydatidiform mole with or without use of one bolus dose of actinomycin D, as prophylactic chemotherapy, during the uterine evacuation of molar pregnancy". Gynecologic Oncology 115 (3): 476–481. doi:10.1016/j.ygyno.2009.09.012. PMID 19818481.
- Hagemann, R. F.; Concannon, J. P. (1973). "Mechanism of intestinal radiosensitization by actinomycin D". British Journal of Radiology 46 (544): 302–308. doi:10.1259/0007-1285-46-544-302. PMID 4720744.
- Toba, K.; Koike, T.; Watanabe, K.; Fuse, I.; Takahashi, M.; Hashimoto, S.; Takahashi, H.; Abe, T. et al. (2000). "Cell kinetic study of normal human bone marrow hematopoiesis and acute leukemia using 7AAD/PY". European journal of haematology 64 (1): 10–21. doi:10.1034/j.1600-0609.2000.09005.x. PMID 10680701.