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Activators & Inhibitors
Chemical Modulators

Cantharidin #70311

Citations (0)
Chemical structure of Cantharidin.

Product Usage Information

Cantharidin is supplied as a lyophilized powder. For a 10 mM stock, reconstitute 1 mg of powder in 0.51 mL of DMSO. Working concentrations and length of treatment can vary depending on the desired effect.


Store lyophilized at -20ºC, desiccated. In lyophilized form, the chemical is stable for 24 months. Once in solution, store at -20ºC and use within 2 weeks to prevent loss of potency. Aliquot to avoid multiple freeze/thaw cycles.

Product Description

Molecular Weight 196.2 g/mol
Purity >98%
Molecular Formula C10H12O4
CAS 56-25-7
Solubility Soluble in DMSO at 20 mg/mL or ethanol at 5 mg/mL.


The terpenoid Cantharidin is a natural toxin secreted by blister beetles as a defense mechanism and during egg laying. Used to treat cancer for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine, Cantharidin has also been used as a putative aphrodisiac and wart remover (1). More recently, Cantharidin has been studied as a protein phosphatase inhibitor and anticancer agent. Cantharidin inhibits protein phosphatase type 2A (PP2A) catalytic subunit activity (IC50 = 0.16 mM) more potently than type 1 protein phosphatase (IC50 = 1.7 mM); phosphatase type 2B is only inhibited at high Cantharidin concentrations (2). Cantharidin inhibited pancreatic cancer cell growth and was less toxic against normal pancreatic duct cells. Treatment with Cantharidin caused G2/M cell-cycle arrest, induced apoptosis, and increased pro-apoptotic factor expression (3). Cantharidin treatment of MCF7 cells induced apoptosis and repressed cell growth, adhesion, and migration, likely by downregulating cell surface α2 integrin through PP2A inhibition and the protein kinase C pathway (4).

Limited Uses

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For Research Use Only. Not for Use in Diagnostic Procedures.
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To Purchase # 70311
Cat. # Size Qty. Price
25 mg