The mitomycins are a family of aziridine-containing natural products isolated from Streptomyces caespitosus or Streptomyces lavendulae. One of these compounds, mitomycin C, finds use as a chemotherapeutic agent by virtue of its antitumour activity. Mitomycin C has also been used topically rather than intravenously in several areas. The first is cancers, particularly bladder cancers and intraperitoneal tumours. It is now well known that a single instillation of this agent within 6 hours of bladder tumor resection can prevent recurrence. The second is in eye surgery where mitomycin C 0.02% is applied topically to prevent scarring during glaucoma filtering surgery and to prevent haze after PRK or LASIK; mitomycin C has also been shown to reduce fibrosis in strabismus surgery. The third is in esophageal and tracheal stenosis where application of mitomycin C onto the mucosa immediately following dilatation will decrease re-stenosis by decreasing the production of fibroblasts and scar tissue. Mitomycin C is a potent DNA crosslinker. A single crosslink per genome has shown to be effective in killing bacteria. This is accomplished by reductive activation of mitomycin to form a mitosene, which reacts successively via N-alkylation of two DNA bases. Both alkylations are sequence specific for a guanine nucleoside in the sequence 5'-CpG-3'. Potential bis-alkylating heterocylic quinones were synthetised in order to explore their antitumoral activities by bioreductive alkylation. Mitomycin is also used as a chemotherapeutic agent in glaucoma surgery. NCATS
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