What is Chelerythrine

The benzophenanthridine alkaloid chelerythrine is extracted from the plant Chelidonium majus. It has formerly been proven to be a potent and selective inhibitor of the serine/threonine-specific protein kinase C (PKC). Recently, it has been identified as a Bcl-xL inhibitor which is able to trigger apoptosis via direct action on mitochondria. Chelerythrine rapidly induced pyknosis, shrinkage and subsequent cell death in cardiac myocytes and caused cytochrome c release from mitochondria, which was observably inhibited in the presence of NAC, suggesting that ROS mediates chelerythrine-induced cytochrome c release.