acridine the parent compound of a series of derivatives, e.g. 3,6-diaminoacridine (proflavin), that are potent mutagens. Some acridines are found in coal tar. They induce frameshift mutations during the replication of DNA by binding to DNA and distorting the double helix, causing additional bases to be incorporated or bases to be omitted. They are used as topical antiseptics and antimalarial agents.
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