Bikaverin is a red pigment with a polyketide tetracyclic benzoxanthone structure. Bikaverin has an antibiotic activity against some protozoa and fungi and also inhibits Succinate- and NAD-linked respiration in rat mitochondria at 20 mg/mL. At higher concentrations (50 mg/mL) it acts as an oxidative phosphorylation uncoupling agent of tumor cells and isolated rat liver mitochondria. Bikaverin demonstrates antitumor activity on Erlich ascites carcinoma (EAC), leukemia and sarcoma cells.
Soluble in DMSO (0.5 mg/mL, may require sonication and heating). For further dilution, water based solutions can be used. Chloroform (0.5 mg/mL) and dichloromethane (0.5 mg/mL).