hydroxyurea

Definition / meaning of hydroxyurea

A monohydroxyl-substituted urea (hydroxycarbamate) antimetabolite. Hydroxyurea selectively inhibits ribonucleoside diphosphate reductase, an enzyme required to convert ribonucleoside diphosphates into deoxyribonucleoside diphosphates, thereby preventing cells from leaving the G1/S phase of the cell cycle. This agent also exhibits radiosensitizing activity by maintaining cells in the radiation-sensitive G1 phase and interfering with DNA repair.

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Source(s):

The Web site of the National Cancer Institute (http://www.cancer.gov/)

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