Pentostatin (Nipent, deoxycoformycin) is a purine isolated from fermentation cultures of the microbe Streptomyces antibioticus. Its mechanism of action involves inhibition of the enzyme adenosine deaminase, which plays an important role in purine salvage pathways and DNA synthesis. The resulting accumulation of deoxyadenosine triphosphate (dATP) is highly toxic to lymphocytes.

Pentostatin is effective in the therapy of hairy cell leukemia, producing remissions in 80 to 90% of patients and complete remissions in more than 50%. The major toxic effects of the drug include myelosuppression, nausea, and skin rashes.

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