Molecular representation of the AZT drug

Molecular representation of the AZT drug

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Credit: SCOTT CAMAZINE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Model of the drug zidovudine (AZT) used to fight the virus (HIV) responsible for AIDS. Carbon atoms are green, hydrogen turquoise, nitrogen blue and oxygen red. AZT is formed by thymine (upper centre left) joined to a sugar ring (centre right) forming a compound similar to thymidine, a building block of the DNA molecule. The difference is in the three nitrogen atoms (right)) which replace a hydroxyl group OH. When the virus infects a T-cell it uses the cell's resources to produce viral DNA. The virus is fooled by the resemblance of AZT to thymidine and incorporates the drug into a growing chain of viral DNA. The lack of the OH group halts the virus growth.

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Keywords: aids drug, azidothymidine, azt, azt aids drug, biochemistry biochemical, chemical, chemistry, compound compounds, drug molecule, hiv drug, molecular graphic, molecular view, molecules, pharmaceutical, pharmaceutics, zidovudine

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