– a brief general outline –
Since science became interested in understanding biochemical interactions and processes in living cells, extensive investigations of chemical structures, biosynthesis and metabolic regulations of the biopolymers RNA and DNA (Ribonucleic acid and Deoxyribonucleic acid), belonging to the most important components of living cells, viruses and plasmids, preoccupied a large part of biochemical research work all over the world.
During the past decades, biochemistry and medicine have undergone major developments. In this regard, the understanding of the mechanisms of action for RNA and DNA and their naturally or chemically modified components remain at the forefront of medical and biochemical research.
The systematic development of new biologically active substances, based on RNA and DNA biochemistry, is highly interesting and involving not only biochemists but also human geneticists, microbiologists and physicians, steadily gaining value and importance. This development is also documented by the immense amount of scientific publications, by the large number of research reagents and active ingredients for pharmaceutical, diagnostic, cosmetic, nutraceutical and other applications which have been developed and put on the market during the last 40 years.
It is well known that RNA and DNA play a key role in the regulation of protein biosynthesis in the metabolism of living cells. RNA and DNA have essential structural similarities but are different in their functions. DNA stores genetic information which, by means of identical replication of the DNA molecules in the process of cell fractionation, is transferred to the daughter cells. RNA mainly serves the transcription of genetic information from the DNA and its expression in the living cells.
There is a large number of natural, chemically or enzymatically modified RNA and DNA components (Nucleotides & Nucleosides and their analogues) interfering with the cytokinesis. Many of them are successfully applied in the modern chemotherapy, in the treatment of viral infections of different kinds and origins, of pathologically caused cell mutations (malignant diseases), of specific cardiovascular insufficiencies and of metabolic disorders. These are some of the major therapeutic fields being in the focus of scientific and public attention.