THE name 'actinomycin' was given by Waksman and Woodruff1 to a bright red crystalline antibiotic which they isolated from Actinomyces antibioticus. A preliminary examination of its chemical nature was made by Waksman and Tishler2, who reported that it decomposed at 250°, had [χ]25D = – 320° ± 5°, and gave analytical values approximating to a formula C41H O11N8; molecular weight determinations gave values varying from 768 to 1,000. Actinomycin appeared to contain a quinonoid system, since it underwent reversible reduction with hydrosulphite and it could be both acetylated and reductively acetylated. More recently, red antibiotic substances have been isolated from other Actinomycetes, and all have been considered to be identical with actinomycin3. It would also seem that the yellow xanthomycins4 are related chemically to actinomycin.
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DALGLIESH, C., TODD, A. Actinomycin. Nature 164, 830 (1949). https://doi.org/10.1038/164830a0
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