The Role of Chemistry in History

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The Chemistry Behind RU-486

April 29th, 2008 · No Comments ·

mifepristone1.jpg|What is RU-486? | The Discovery | The Chemistry |

|The Global Use | RU-486 in US Politics |

| Cultural Controversy in the US | References |

mifepristone1.jpgmifepristone1.jpgmifepristone2.jpgmifepristone2.jpgRU-486, or mifepristone, is a “synthetic steroid related to progesterone […] that mimics the action of progesterone […and therefore…] blocks the action of progesterone” (Kimball, 2008). As a progesterone antagonist, RU-486 is a synthetic molecule that opposes the action of a natural molecule, in this case, progesterone. By attaching itself to progesterone receptors, RU-486 blocks progesterone from taking up a receptor and therefore the necessary proteins to initiate and sustain pregnancy are not made (Kimball, 2008). Finally, RU-486 dilates the cervix leading to contractions that assist in displacing and eventually, expelling the embryo. Below is a basic diagram of where RU-486 acts:


Molecular Formula: C29H35NO2

Chemical Structure:

Tags: RU-486