Ganciclovir is used in molecular biology for selection against random recombination events when homologous recombination of a gene of interest is required. It is useful in the study of gene therapy in cancer research.
Ganciclovir is also a nucleoside analog structurally related to Acyclovir that acts as a prodrug activated by phosphorylation. Has been used in the study of “suicide” gene therapy in cancer research, where upon expression of a viral suicide gene encoding herpes simplex virus, thymidine kinase (TK), the non-toxic prodrug ganciclovir, is converted to an active phosphorylated analog that can be incorporated into the DNA of replicating eukaryotic cells, causing death of the malignant dividing cell. Causes an irreversible cell cycle arrest at the G2/M checkpoint. Also has been used to study the loss of telomeres and to evaluate sensitivity of viruses to antiviral agents.
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