The primary mechanism of action of bleomycin involves the drug's ability to oxidatively damage DNA

The primary mechanism of action of bleomycin involves the drug’s ability to oxidatively damage DNA by binding to metal ions, including iron, forming metallobleomycin complexes.

The reactive oxygen species generated by these complexes cause DNA single-strand and double-strand breaks between 3’-4’ bonds in deoxyribose.

These strand breaks produce free base propenals particularly thymine. The production of these free base propenals is known to result in cell cycle arrest at the G2 phase.

Arrest in this phase halts the progression of cell replication and thus prevents tissue growth and repair.

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