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Actinomycin D

from Streptomyces sp., ~98% (HPLC)

Dactinomycin, Actinomycin IV, Actinomycin C1
Empirical Formula (Hill Notation):
CAS Number:
Molecular Weight:
EC Number:
MDL number:
PubChem Substance ID:

Quality Level

biological source

Streptomyces sp.


~98% (HPLC)



optical activity

[α]/D alpha: 28/D (Rotation: -315 degrees (c=0.25% in methanol))


red to orange
red, powder




DMSO: 1 mg/mL
ethanol: soluble

Mode of action

DNA synthesis | interferes

antibiotic activity spectrum


storage temp.


SMILES string




InChI key


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General description

Actinomycin D is a polypeptide antibiotic first described by Waksman. It is bacteriostatic in nature, especially towards gram negative bacteria, and also has anti-tumor activity.
Chemical structure: peptide


Actinomycin D has a wide-ranging applications ranging from a selection agent in cell culture, use in studies of suppressing HIV-replication and programmed cell death of PC12 cells, and as an antibiotic in treatment of various malignant neoplasms, including Wilm′s tumour and the sarcomas.


2, 5, 10, 25, 100 mg in serum bottle

Biochem/physiol Actions

Actinomycin D inhibits the proliferation of cells by forming a stable complex with double-stranded DNA, inhibiting DNA-primed RNA synthesis and causing single-stranded breaks in DNA. It has been shown to be an inhibitor of the minus-strand transfer step in reverse transcriptase.


This product is hygroscopic and light-sensitive. If stored protected from light and moisture at 2-8°C, it remains unchanged, by HPLC testing, for at least 15 months. Unused dilute solutions of Actinomycin D are extremely sensitive to light and tend to adsorb to plastic and glass and should be discarded. However, frozen aliquots of concentrated stock solution are stable for at least a month.

Preparation Note

Actinomycin D is sold as red, shiny crystals and is soluble in acetonitrilie or acetone at 10 mg/mL and in DMSO at a minimum of 1 mg/mL. Some references also show slight solubility in water of 0.5 mg/mL.

Other Notes

Keep container tightly closed in a dry and well-ventilated place. Keep in a dry place.


Skull and crossbonesHealth hazard

Signal Word


Hazard Statements

Hazard Classifications

Acute Tox. 2 Oral - Carc. 1B - Repr. 1B

Storage Class Code

6.1A - Combustible, acute toxic Cat. 1 and 2 / very toxic hazardous materials



Flash Point(F)

Not applicable

Flash Point(C)

Not applicable

Personal Protective Equipment

dust mask type N95 (US),Eyeshields,Gloves

Certificate of Analysis

Certificate of Origin

The role of deoxyribonucleic acid in ribonucleic acid synthesis. III. The inhibition of the enzymatic synthesis of ribonucleic acid and deoxyribonucleic acid by actinomycin D and proflavin.
J HURWITZ et al.
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