Actinomycin D fact sheet

Actinomycin D

[ what is Actinomycin D
[ the physical data of Actinomycin D
[ the formula and 3D image if Actinomycin D
[ what is Actinomycin D used for
[ where to buy Actinomycin D
[ References


what is Actinomycin D

Actinomycin D is an inhibitor of DNA-dependent RNA synthesis. It binds specifically to dG (3´-5´)dC site of DNA

Actinomycin-D is also marketed under the following names: Dactinomycin, CosmegenŽ, Actinomycin IV, Actinomycin C1

Physical Properties of Actinomycin D

Appearance: Orange/red powder
Molecular formula: C62H86N12O16
Molecular weight: 1255.4
Melting point: decomposes at 241.5-243EC
E1%(244nm) = 281 (methanol)
E1%(441nm) = 206 (methanol)
EmM(240 nm) = 34.1 at 240 nm (methanol)
EmM(443 nm) = 24.4 (methanol)
Optical rotation: -315E(c = 0.25% in methanol at 28EC)

he formula and 3D image if Actinomycin D


actinomycin molecule with chimeClick on the image to explore the
3D shape of the Actinomycin D molecule.
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what is Actinomycin D used for :

Actinomycin D is one of the older chemotherapy drugs which has been used in therapy for many years. Actinomycin D is marketed as red, highly hygroscopic crystallic powder.  Actinomycin D solution is a clear, yellow liquid which is administered intravenously and most commonly used in treatment of the following cancers: Gestational Throphoblastic cancers, Testis, Wilm's Tumor, Rhabdomyosarcoma, Ewing's Sarcoma

General Remarks :

The structure was determined by atomic structure and amino acid sequence.
"Dactinomycin is an antibiotic used for its antineoplastic properties in the treatment of various malignant neoplasms including Wilm's tumour, and the sarcomas. Adverse effects include bonemarrow depression and gastrointestinal toxicity; it is extremely irritating and extravasation produces severe tissue damage."5
The compound inhibits the proliferation of cells in a nonspecific way by forming a stable complex with double-stranded DNA (via deoxyguanosine residues), thus inhibiting DNA-primed RNA synthesis. It also causes single-strand breaks in DNA.5,6,10 It is used in cell culture as a selection agent; suggested working concentrations range from 0.01 to 2 mg/mL, but typically 1 mg/mL.4
Actinomycin D binding to yeast in ribosomal RNA has been studied.11 The sensitivity of various strains of E. coli to actinomycin D and the mechanism of binding has been studied.12,13
Actinomycin D is a highly toxic, carcinogenic, teratogenic and mutagenic compound, and a possible sensitizer. Please consult the Material Safety Data Sheet for appropriate handling.3
Products A1410 and A4262 differ slightly in purity. Sigma offers A9415 (cell culture tested) and a water-soluble formulation A5156. Each vial contains 1 mg actinomycin D and 49 mg mannitol.


1. Merck Index, 11th ed., p. 441, #2804 (1989).
2. Meienhofer, J., J. Am. Chem. Soc., 92, 3771 (1970).
3. Sigma-Aldrich MSDS information.
4. Sigma data.
5. Martindale: The Extra Pharmacopoeia, 30th ed., Rynolds, J.E.F., ed., 473 (1993).
6. Data for Biochemical Research, 3rd ed., Dawson, R.M.C. et al., eds., p. 256-257 (1986).
7. Rapp, R.P. et al., Drug Intelligence and Clinical Pharmacy, 18, 218 (1984).
8. United States Pharmacopeia, XXII, p. 379 (1990).
9. D'Arcy, P.F., Drug Intelligence and Clinical Pharmacy, 17, 532 (1983).
10. The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 8th Ed., Goodmand and Gilman, eds. (Pergamon Press, 1990), p. 1240-1241.
11. Waltschewa, L.W., FEBS Lett., 111(1), 179 (1980).
12. Singh, A.P, et al, Can J. Microbiol., 18(6), 909 (1972).
13. Cavalieri, L.F. and Nemchin, R.G., Biochim Biophys. Acta, 166(3), 722 (1968).


recent publications

  1. Facilitation of fas mediated apoptosis of human chondrocytes by the proteasome inhibitor and actinomycin d.
  2. Induction of surface antigen CD69 expression in T-lymphocytes following exposure to actinomycin D.
  3. Trypanosoma cruzi: in vitro morphological alterations induced by actinomycin D.
  4. ATPase inhibitors suppress actinomycin D-induced apoptosis in leukemia cells.
  5. Binding of Actinomycin D to Single-Stranded DNA of Sequence Motifs d(TGTCT(n)G) and d(TGT(n)GTCT)

  6. Actinomycin D induces high-level resistance to thymidine analogs in replication of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 by interfering with host cell thymidine kinase expression.

  7. The effect of space flight on the production of actinomycin D by Streptomyces plicatus.

  8. Crystal structure of actinomycin D bound to the CTG triplet repeat sequences linked to neurological diseases.

  9. Synergy is achieved by complementation with Apo2L/TRAIL and actinomycin D in Apo2L/TRAIL-mediated apoptosis of prostate cancer cells: role of XIAP in resistance.

  10. Salvage combination chemotherapy with 5-fluorouracil and actinomycin D for patients with refractory, high-risk gestational trophoblastic tumors.

where to buy Actinomycin D

A.G. Scientific L/K/T/ laboratories    
5 mg $47.60






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This page was done by a student of Bioinformatics, Open University Jerusalem Israel, in a homage to Fermentek and to Dr Berend.
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