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What is the mechanism of action of lurbinectedin?

Lurbinectedin is a new anticancer drug that has been recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of metastatic small cell lung cancer (SCLC) [1]. The drug has also shown promising results in clinical trials for other types of cancer, including ovarian, breast, and prostate cancer [2].

The mechanism of action of lurbinectedin involves the inhibition of transcription. Specifically, the drug targets the transcription factor called RNA polymerase II (Pol II), which is responsible for the transcription of genes involved in DNA repair and cell survival [3]. Lurbinectedin binds to the Pol II complex and induces the formation of a covalent bond between the drug and the DNA template, leading to the inhibition of transcription [2].

Moreover, lurbinectedin also induces DNA damage by forming adducts with the DNA molecule, which results in the activation of the DNA damage response pathway and ultimately leads to apoptosis (programmed cell death) [3].

In conclusion, lurbinectedin is a novel anticancer drug that inhibits transcription by targeting RNA polymerase II and inducing DNA damage, ultimately leading to apoptosis. Its mechanism of action has shown efficacy in clinical trials for the treatment of small cell lung cancer and other types of cancer [1, 2, 3].

[1] DrugPatentWatch. (n.d.). Lurbinectedin. Retrieved from
[2] Trigo, J., Subbiah, V., Besse, B., Moreno, V., López, R., Sala, M. A., & Tabernero, J. (2021). Lurbinectedin: a review of its clinical development and future directions in the treatment of cancer. Cancer Treatment Reviews, 95, 102168.
[3] Muñoz-Alonso, M. J., Álvarez-Fernández, M., & Villar, E. (2020). Lurbinectedin: a review of its safety and efficacy in the treatment of solid tumors. OncoTargets and Therapy, 13, 11237–11247.

Follow-up:   How does lurbinectedin target cancer cells? What role does lurbinectedin play in DNA repair? Can lurbinectedin be used in combination therapies?

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