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Record Information
Created at2019-05-20 17:30:31 UTC
Updated at2022-09-30 16:07:28 UTC
NP-MRD IDNP0000001
Secondary Accession NumbersNone
Natural Product Identification
Common NameStrychnine
DescriptionStrychnine, also known as strychnin, is an extremely poisonous and bitter indoline alkaloid. It belongs to the class of organic compounds known as strychnos alkaloids. These are alkaloids having a core structure based on the strychnan, stemmadenine (seco-curan), or the akuammicine (curan) skeleton. Strychnine is also classified as a terpene indole alkaloid belonging to the Strychnos family of Corynanthe alkaloids. In nature, strychnine is most commonly found in the seeds of the Strychnos nux-vomica tree. Strychnine is derived from two smaller, simpler compounds, tryptamine and secologanin. The enzyme, strictosidine synthase, catalyzes the condensation of tryptamine and secologanin, followed by a spontaneous reaction to form strictosidine. Several other enzymatic steps eventually lead to the conversion of strictosidine to strychnine. Strychnine is a colorless, bitter, crystalline alkaloid that is used as a pesticide, particularly for killing small vertebrates such as birds and rodents. Strychnine, when inhaled, swallowed, or absorbed through the eyes or mouth, causes poisoning which results in muscular convulsions and eventually death through asphyxia. Strychnine functions as a neurotoxin which acts as an antagonist of glycine and acetylcholine receptors. It primarily affects the motor nerve fibers in the spinal cord which control muscle contraction. Historically, strychnine has served many purposes: (1) As a medicinal remedy to treat a wide variety of ailments, (2) as an athletic performance enhancer, (3) as a recreational drug, and (4) as a pesticide for killing small vertebrates (PMID: 20810461 ).
Chemical FormulaC21H22N2O2
Average Mass334.4116 Da
Monoisotopic Mass334.16813 Da
IUPAC Name(1R,11S,18S,20R,21R,22S)-12-oxa-8,17-diazaheptacyclo[^{1,18}.0^{2,7}.0^{8,22}.0^{11,21}.0^{15,20}]tetracosa-2,4,6,14-tetraen-9-one
Traditional Name(1R,11S,18S,20R,21R,22S)-12-oxa-8,17-diazaheptacyclo[^{1,18}.0^{2,7}.0^{8,22}.0^{11,21}.0^{15,20}]tetracosa-2,4,6,14-tetraen-9-one
CAS Registry Number57-24-9
InChI Identifier
Experimental Spectra
Spectrum TypeDescriptionDepositor IDDepositor OrganizationDepositorDeposition DateView
1D NMR1H NMR Spectrum (1D, 700 MHz, CDCl3, simulated)Varshavi.d262021-12-06View Spectrum
1D NMR1H NMR Spectrum (1D, 700 MHz, CDCl3, experimental)Varshavi.d262021-12-06View Spectrum
1D NMR1H NMR Spectrum (1D, 400 MHz, CDCl3, experimental)Wishart LabWishart LabDavid Wishart2021-06-20View Spectrum
1D NMR13C NMR Spectrum (1D, 50.23 MHz, CDCl3, experimental)Wishart LabWishart LabDavid Wishart2021-06-20View Spectrum
Predicted Spectra
Not Available
Chemical Shift Submissions
Spectrum TypeDescriptionDepositor IDDepositor OrganizationDepositorDeposition DateView
1D NMR1H NMR Spectrum (1D, 400 MHz, CDCl3, simulated)V.dorna832021-08-14View Spectrum
Species of Origin
Species NameSourceReference
Strychnos atlanticaKNApSAcK Database
Strychnos cinnamomifoliaKNApSAcK Database
Strychnos columbrinaKNApSAcK Database
Strychnos icajaLOTUS Database
Strychnos ignatiiKNApSAcK Database
Strychnos ligustrinaKNApSAcK Database
Strychnos lucidaLOTUS Database
Strychnos lucida R.Br.KNApSAcK Database
Strychnos nitidaKNApSAcK Database
Strychnos nux-vomicaKNApSAcK Database
Strychnos nux-vomica L.Seed
Strychnos panamensisLOTUS Database
Strychnos spinosaKNApSAcK Database
Strychnos tieuteKNApSAcK Database
Strychnos triplinerviaKNApSAcK Database
Chemical Taxonomy
Description Belongs to the class of organic compounds known as strychnos alkaloids. These are alkaloids having a core structure based on the strychnan, stemmadenine (seco-curan), or the akuammicine (curan) skeleton.
KingdomOrganic compounds
Super ClassAlkaloids and derivatives
ClassStrychnos alkaloids
Sub ClassNot Available
Direct ParentStrychnos alkaloids
Alternative Parents
  • Strychnan skeleton
  • Akuammicine-skeleton
  • Stemmadenine-skeleton
  • Carbazole
  • Quinolidine
  • Indole or derivatives
  • Indolizidine
  • Aralkylamine
  • Piperidinone
  • Delta-lactam
  • Piperidine
  • Benzenoid
  • N-alkylpyrrolidine
  • Tertiary carboxylic acid amide
  • Pyrrolidine
  • Tertiary aliphatic amine
  • Tertiary amine
  • Carboxamide group
  • Amino acid or derivatives
  • Lactam
  • Carboxylic acid derivative
  • Dialkyl ether
  • Ether
  • Oxacycle
  • Azacycle
  • Organoheterocyclic compound
  • Organic nitrogen compound
  • Organic oxide
  • Amine
  • Hydrocarbon derivative
  • Organic oxygen compound
  • Carbonyl group
  • Organonitrogen compound
  • Organooxygen compound
  • Organopnictogen compound
  • Aromatic heteropolycyclic compound
Molecular FrameworkAromatic heteropolycyclic compounds
External Descriptors
Physical Properties
Experimental Properties
Melting Point287.00 °C. @ 760.00 mm HgThe Good Scents Company Information System
Boiling Point284 °C
Water Solubility160 mg/L @ 25 °C (exp)The Good Scents Company Information System
LogP1.930The Good Scents Company Information System
Predicted Properties
pKa (Strongest Acidic)17.24ChemAxon
pKa (Strongest Basic)9.27ChemAxon
Physiological Charge1ChemAxon
Hydrogen Acceptor Count3ChemAxon
Hydrogen Donor Count0ChemAxon
Polar Surface Area32.78 ŲChemAxon
Rotatable Bond Count0ChemAxon
Refractivity94.51 m³·mol⁻¹ChemAxon
Polarizability35.81 ųChemAxon
Number of Rings7ChemAxon
Rule of FiveYesChemAxon
Ghose FilterYesChemAxon
Veber's RuleYesChemAxon
MDDR-like RuleNoChemAxon
HMDB IDNot Available
DrugBank IDNot Available
Phenol Explorer Compound IDNot Available
FoodDB IDNot Available
KNApSAcK IDC00001770
Chemspider ID389877
KEGG Compound IDC06522
BioCyc IDNot Available
BiGG IDNot Available
Wikipedia LinkStrychnine
METLIN IDNot Available
PubChem CompoundNot Available
PDB IDNot Available
ChEBI ID28973
Good Scents IDrw1137021
General References
  1. Parker AJ, Lee JB, Redman J, Jolliffe L: Strychnine poisoning: gone but not forgotten. Emerg Med J. 2011 Jan;28(1):84. doi: 10.1136/emj.2009.080879. Epub 2010 Sep 1. [PubMed:20810461 ]
  2. Rauramo L, Lagerspetz K, Engblom P, Punnonen R: The effect of castration and peroral estrogen therapy on some psychological functions. Front Horm Res. 1975;3:94-104. doi: 10.1159/000398269. [PubMed:1234567 ]
  3. Frederich M, Hayette MP, Tits M, De Mol P, Angenot L: In vitro activities of strychnos alkaloids and extracts against Plasmodium falciparum. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1999 Sep;43(9):2328-31. doi: 10.1128/AAC.43.9.2328. [PubMed:10471592 ]
  4. Frederich M, De Pauw MC, Llabres G, Tits M, Hayette MP, Brandt V, Penelle J, De Mol P, Angenot L: New antimalarial and cytotoxic sungucine derivatives from Strychnos icaja roots. Planta Med. 2000 Apr;66(3):262-9. doi: 10.1055/s-2000-8559. [PubMed:10821054 ]
  5. Narikawa K, Furue H, Kumamoto E, Yoshimura M: In vivo patch-clamp analysis of IPSCs evoked in rat substantia gelatinosa neurons by cutaneous mechanical stimulation. J Neurophysiol. 2000 Oct;84(4):2171-4. doi: 10.1152/jn.2000.84.4.2171. [PubMed:11024105 ]
  6. Wenstrup J, Leroy SA: Spectral integration in the inferior colliculus: role of glycinergic inhibition in response facilitation. J Neurosci. 2001 Feb 1;21(3):RC124. [PubMed:11157095 ]
  7. Poleksic J: [Epidemiological research on alcoholism in the industry and mining in our country]. Nar Zdrav. 1975 Jul-Aug;31(7-8):224-30. [PubMed:1234321 ]