Acyclovir inhibits viral DNA synthesis by selective interaction with two distinct viral proteins.
Cellular uptake and initial phosphorylation are facilitated by thymidine kinase. Cellular enzymes convert the monophosphate to acyclovir triphosphate and competes for endogeneous deoxyguanosine triphosphate (dGTP). Acyclovir triphosphate competively inhibits viral DNA polymerases and, to a much smaller extent, cellular DNA polymerases. Acyclovir triphosphate is also incorporated into viral DNA, where it acts as a chain terminatore because of the lack of 3'-hydroxyl group. By a mechanism termed suicide inactivation, the terminated DNA template containing acyclovir binds the enzyme and leads to irreversible inactivation of the DNA polymerase.
C8H11N5O3 = 225.2
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