Heterocyclic compounds with a pyridine nucleus. Usually fluorescent and reactive with double stranded DNA as intercalating agents at very low concentrations. Hence dsDNA can be detected on gels by fluorescence after acridine staining. Mutagenic (causing frame-shift mutations ), cytostatic (and hence antimicrobial). They also affect RNA synthesis and have been used for cell marking.
Dictionary of molecular biology. 2004.
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