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Definition of «Fluorouracil»

Fluorouracil: A much-used anticancer drug that belongs to the family of drugs called antimetabolites. Full name: 5-fluorouracil. Abbreviation: 5-FU.

5-FU is a pyrimidine antagonist. 5-FU is similar in structure to the pyrimidine base thymine and functions to inhibit DNA synthesis both by blocking the formation of normal pyrimidine nucleotides via both enzyme inhibition and by interfering with DNA synthesis after incorporation into a growing DNA molecule.

5-FU is also able to block the production of RNA and thereby induce cell death. 5-FU affects the processing of messenger RNA (mRNA), ribosomal RNA (rRNA), transfer RNA (tRNA), and small nuclear RNA (snRNA). 5-FU may also inhibit cell growth is through its ability to prevent the synthesis of thymine nucleotides from uracil nucleotides.

See also: Fluorouracil topical.

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