Camptothecin is a plant secondary metabolite used as an anti-cancer drug that damages DNA, leading to the destruction of the cell. It comes from Camptotheca acuminata, a deciduous tree found in southern China. A close analogue, 9-methoxycamptothecin, is also present in the same source

Mechanism of Action:

Camptothecin affects the activity of the enzyme topoisomerase I, whose normal action is to cleave, unwind, and religate DNA. When camptothecin binds to topoisomerase I, it will be able to cleave but not to religate DNA. Thereby, camptothecin causes single strand breaks in DNA.

Camptothecin  Functions  

1-Camptothecin can make changes in skin epidermal keratinization process.
2-Camptothecin is used for anti-cancer, anti-virus, immune inhibition, anti early pregnancy.
3-Camptothecin has the function of treatment of gastric cancer, liver cancer, head and neck cancer and leukemia.    

Camptothecin Applications   

1.Treatment Gastrointestinal cancer and leukemia,

2.Plant growth regulator activity and kill insects. 

3.Treatment of gastric cancer, liver cancer, head and neck cancer and leukemia,, with fewer side effects than camptothecine.

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Product Analysis:

Physical Analysis  
DescriptionLight Yellow PowderComplies
Mesh Size100 % pass 80 meshComplies
Ash≤ 5.0%2.85%
Loss on Drying≤ 5.0%2.85%
Chemical Analysis  
Heavy Metal≤ 10.0 mg/kgComplies
Pb≤ 2.0 mg/kgComplies
As≤ 1.0 mg/kgComplies
Hg≤ 0.1 mg/kgComplies
Microbiological Analysis  
Residue of PesticideNegativeNegative
Total Plate Count≤ 1000cfu/gComplies
Yeast&Mold≤ 100cfu/gComplies


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3.Ciufolini MA. Practical total synthesis of (+)-camptothecin: the full story. Tetrahedron. 1997;53(32):11049.

4.Hsiang YH, Hertzberg R, Hecht S. Camptothecin induces protein-linked DNA breaks via man malian DNA topoisomerase I. Biol Chem. 1985;260(27):14873–8.

5.Chinese academy of sciences, Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica. Study on antitumor effect of 10-hydroxycamptothecin. Chin Med J. 1978;6(3):42–8.

6.Peng G. Research progress of camptothecin as anticancer drugs. Acta Acad Med CPAF. 2001;10(3):255–8.

7.Jiancan F. Development and utilization of Camptotheca acuminata and Camptothecin. For Sci. 2000;36(5):100–8.

8.Xiaoyang F. Retrospection and rethinking on forty years development of camptothecin drugs. Med Philos. 2005;26(1):30–1.


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