Chemical Component Summary

FormulaC4 H3 F N2 O2
Molecular Weight130.08
Isomeric SMILESFc1c[nH]c(=O)[nH]c1=O

Chemical Details

Formal Charge0
Atom Count12
Chiral Atom Count0
Chiral Atomsn/a
Bond Count12
Aromatic Bond Count0
Leaving Atomsn/a

Drug Info: DrugBank

DrugBank IDDB00544 Different stereochemistry
DescriptionA pyrimidine analog that is an antineoplastic antimetabolite. It interferes with DNA synthesis by blocking the thymidylate synthetase conversion of deoxyuridylic acid to thymidylic acid. [PubChem]
  • 5-Fluoracil
  • 5-Fluoropyrimidine-2,4-dione
  • 5-Fluorouracil
  • 5-Fluracil
  • 5-FU
Brand Names
  • Actikerall
  • Adrucil
  • Adrucil Inj 50mg/ml
  • Carac
  • Efudex
Affected OrganismHumans and other mammals
IndicationFor the topical treatment of multiple actinic or solar keratoses. In the 5% strength it is also useful in the treatment of superficial basal cell carcinomas when conventional methods are impractical, such as with multiple lesions or difficult treatment sites. Fluorouracil injection is indicated in the palliative management of some types of cancer, including colon, esophageal, gastric, rectum, breast, biliary tract, stomach, head and neck, cervical, pancreas, renal cell, and carcinoid.
PharmacologyFluorouracil is an antineoplastic anti-metabolite. Anti-metabolites masquerade as purine or pyrimidine - which become the building blocks of DNA. They prevent these substances from becoming incorporated into DNA during the "S" phase (of the cell cycle), stopping normal development and division. Fluorouracil blocks an enzyme which converts the cytosine nucleotide into the deoxy derivative. In addition, DNA synthesis is further inhibited because Fluorouracil blocks the incorporation of the thymidine nucleotide into the DNA strand.
Mechanism of actionThe precise mechanism of action has not been fully determined, but the main mechanism of fluorouracil is thought to be the binding of the deoxyribonucleotide of the drug (FdUMP) and the folate cofactor, N5–10-methylenetetrahydrofolate, to thymidylate synthase (TS) to form a covalently bound ternary complex. This results in the inhibition of the formation of thymidylate from uracil, which leads to the inhibition of DNA and RNA synthesis and cell death. Fluorouracil can also be incorporated into RNA in place of uridine triphosphate (UTP), producing a fraudulent RNA and interfering with RNA processing and protein synthesis.
Route of administration
  • Intravenous
  • Topical
  • Antimetabolites
  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Antineoplastic and Immunomodulating Agents
  • BCRP/ABCG2 Substrates
  • L01BC02
  • L01BC52
  • 10:00.00
  • 84:92.00
CAS number51-21-8

Drug Targets

NameSequence SearchPharmacological ActionActions
yesincorporation into and destabilization
yesincorporation into and destabilization
Drug Info/Drug Targets: DrugBank 3.0: a comprehensive resource for 'omics' research on drugs. Knox C, Law V, Jewison T, Liu P, Ly S, Frolkis A, Pon A, Banco K, Mak C, Neveu V, Djoumbou Y, Eisner R, Guo AC, Wishart DS. Nucleic Acids Res. 2011 Jan; 39 (Database issue):D1035-41. | PMID:21059682