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Record Information
Created at2006-08-12 20:17:34 UTC
Updated at2020-11-24 22:12:05 UTC
NP-MRD IDNP0000008
Secondary Accession NumbersNone
Natural Product Identification
Common NameBerberine
DescriptionBerberine, also known as coptis rhizome, belongs to the class of organic compounds known as protoberberine alkaloids and derivatives. These are alkaloids with a structure based on a protoberberine moiety, which consists of a 5,6-dihydrodibenzene moiety fused to a quinolizinium and forming 5,6-Dihydrodibenzo(a,g)quinolizinium skeleton. Oxidation of the tertiary amine then occurs and an iminium ion is formed. 2. Dopamine 1 then reacts with 4-hydroxy-phenylacetaldehyde 2 to form (S)-norcolaurine 3 in a reaction similar to the Mannich reaction. The alkaloid berberine has a tetracyclic skeleton derived from a benzyltetrahydroisoquinoline system with the incorporation of an extra carbon atom provided by S-adenosyl methionine via an N-methyl group. 8 (S)-canadine is then oxidized to give the quaternary isoquinolinium system of berberine. Berberine is an extremely weak basic (essentially neutral) compound (based on its pKa). Berberine is a bitter tasting compound. Outside of the human body,. Reticuline is known as the immediate precursor of protoberberine alkaloids in plants. Its potential for causing adverse effects is high, including untoward interactions with prescription drugs, reducing the intended effect of established therapies.
Coptis rhizomeHMDB
Chemical FormulaC20H18NO4
Average Molecular Weight336.3612
Monoisotopic Molecular Weight336.123583069
IUPAC Name16,17-dimethoxy-5,7-dioxa-13lambda5-azapentacyclo[^{2,10}.0^{4,8}.0^{15,20}]henicosa-1(21),2,4(8),9,13,15,17,19-octaen-13-ylium
Traditional Name16,17-dimethoxy-5,7-dioxa-13lambda5-azapentacyclo[^{2,10}.0^{4,8}.0^{15,20}]henicosa-1(21),2,4(8),9,13,15,17,19-octaen-13-ylium
CAS Registry Number2086-83-1
InChI Identifier
Spectrum TypeDescriptionView
1D NMR1H NMR SpectrumJSpectraViewer
2D NMR[1H,13C] 2D NMR SpectrumJSpectraViewer
Species of Origin
Chemical Taxonomy
Description Belongs to the class of organic compounds known as protoberberine alkaloids and derivatives. These are alkaloids with a structure based on a protoberberine moiety, which consists of a 5,6-dihydrodibenzene moiety fused to a quinolizinium and forming 5,6-Dihydrodibenzo(a,g)quinolizinium skeleton.
KingdomOrganic compounds
Super ClassAlkaloids and derivatives
ClassProtoberberine alkaloids and derivatives
Sub ClassNot Available
Direct ParentProtoberberine alkaloids and derivatives
Alternative Parents
  • Protoberberine skeleton
  • Isoquinoline
  • Benzodioxole
  • Anisole
  • Alkyl aryl ether
  • Pyridine
  • Pyridinium
  • Benzenoid
  • Heteroaromatic compound
  • Acetal
  • Ether
  • Oxacycle
  • Azacycle
  • Organoheterocyclic compound
  • Organonitrogen compound
  • Hydrocarbon derivative
  • Organic nitrogen compound
  • Organooxygen compound
  • Organic oxygen compound
  • Organopnictogen compound
  • Organic cation
  • Aromatic heteropolycyclic compound
Molecular FrameworkAromatic heteropolycyclic compounds
External Descriptors
Physical Properties
Experimental Properties
Melting Point145 °CNot Available
Boiling PointNot AvailableNot Available
Water SolubilityNot AvailableNot Available
LogPNot AvailableNot Available
Predicted Properties
Water Solubility0.00035 g/LALOGPS
pKa (Strongest Basic)-4.4ChemAxon
Physiological Charge1ChemAxon
Hydrogen Acceptor Count4ChemAxon
Hydrogen Donor Count0ChemAxon
Polar Surface Area40.8 ŲChemAxon
Rotatable Bond Count2ChemAxon
Refractivity93.52 m³·mol⁻¹ChemAxon
Polarizability36.92 ųChemAxon
Number of Rings5ChemAxon
Rule of FiveYesChemAxon
Ghose FilterNoChemAxon
Veber's RuleNoChemAxon
MDDR-like RuleNoChemAxon
User Submitted Data
Not Available
DrugBank IDDB04115
Phenol Explorer Compound IDNot Available
FoodDB IDFDB023165
KNApSAcK IDC00001819
Chemspider ID2263
KEGG Compound IDC00757
BioCyc IDNot Available
BiGG IDNot Available
Wikipedia LinkBerberine
PubChem Compound2353
PDB IDNot Available
ChEBI ID16118
General References
  1. Pan GY, Wang GJ, Sun JG, Huang ZJ, Zhao XC, Gu Y, Liu XD: [Inhibitory action of berberine on glucose absorption]. Yao Xue Xue Bao. 2003 Dec;38(12):911-4. [PubMed:15040083 ]
  2. Yu HH, Kim KJ, Cha JD, Kim HK, Lee YE, Choi NY, You YO: Antimicrobial activity of berberine alone and in combination with ampicillin or oxacillin against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. J Med Food. 2005 Winter;8(4):454-61. [PubMed:16379555 ]
  3. Zhao CC, Zheng WF, Li MQ: [The interaction of berberine and human serum albumin]. Guang Pu Xue Yu Guang Pu Fen Xi. 2004 Jan;24(1):111-3. [PubMed:15768991 ]
  4. Pan JF, Yu C, Zhu DY, Zhang H, Zeng JF, Jiang SH, Ren JY: Identification of three sulfate-conjugated metabolites of berberine chloride in healthy volunteers' urine after oral administration. Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2002 Jan;23(1):77-82. [PubMed:11860742 ]
  5. Zhang H, Shao Z, Sun Y: [Determination of berberine in human serum by reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography]. Se Pu. 1997 Sep;15(5):454-5. [PubMed:15739507 ]
  6. Liu Y, Huang CZ, Li YF: Fluorescence assay based on preconcentration by a self-ordered ring using berberine as a model analyte. Anal Chem. 2002 Nov 1;74(21):5564-8. [PubMed:12433089 ]
  7. Mantena SK, Sharma SD, Katiyar SK: Berberine, a natural product, induces G1-phase cell cycle arrest and caspase-3-dependent apoptosis in human prostate carcinoma cells. Mol Cancer Ther. 2006 Feb;5(2):296-308. [PubMed:16505103 ]