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Chromomycin A3, a fluorescent DNA stain and antibiotic, has been reported to strongly inhibit zinc-dependent transcriptional activity of sheep Metallothionein 1A promoter in reporter gene assays of transfected cells. This compound has also been shown to be a potent inhibitor of neuronal apoptosis induced by glutathione depletion-induced oxidative stress and DNA-damaging agent Camptothecin (sc-200871). Mechanistic studies suggest that Chromomycin A3 antagonizes enhanced DNA binding of the transcription factors Sp1 and Sp3 to their cognate "G-C" box, induced by oxidative stress or DNA damage. Furthermore, by inhibiting transcription, Chromomycin A3 and its structural analogs can inhibit protein biosynthesis.
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