Dictionary > Alkylating agent

Alkylating agent

Definition
noun
A highly reactive substance that replaces hydrogen by an alkyl group especially in a biologically important molecule (e.g. DNA).
Supplement
Alkylating agents are grouped into nucleophilic and electrophilic:

  • nucleophilic alkylating agents – the use of organometallic compounds such as Grignard (organomagnesium), organolithium, organocopper, and organosodium reagents.
  • electrophilic alkylating agents – the use of alkyl halides with a Lewis acid catalyst to alkylate aromatic substrates in Friedel-Crafts reactions.

Alkylating agents are used clinically by inhibiting cell division and growth, thus, are used to treat some cancers. Alkylated DNA either does not coil or uncoil properly, resulting in cytotoxicity that further leads to cell growth inhibition and initiation of apoptosis.
See also: alkylation


You will also like...

Population Regulation in an Ecosystem
Population Regulation in an Ecosystem

With regard to the population size of a species and what factors may affect them, two factors have been defined. They ar..

Gene Pool and Speciation
The Gene Pool and Population Genetics

According to Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection, preferable genes are favored by nature in the gene pool, and ..

Human perception in action
Human Perception – Neurology

This tutorial investigates perception as two people can interpret the same thing differently. Know more about human perc..

Fossil trilobite imprint in the sediment
Insects

There are more species of insects than any other species combined. This surely illustrates that insects have the selecti..

An artistic depiction of a human embryo
Growth and Development of a Human Baby

Upon fertilization, a zygote forms and develops into an embryo. This tutorial elaborates on the growth and development f..

A sperm cell fertilizing an ovum
Human Reproduction and Fertilization

For human species to obviate extinction, reproductive mature adults should be producing viable offspring in order to con..