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Rapamycin (Sirolimus)

Catalog No.: GC15031

Rapamycin (Sirolimus) (Sirolimus; AY 22989) is a potent and specific mTOR inhibitor with an IC50 of 0.1 nM in HEK293 cells. Rapamycin (Sirolimus) binds to FKBP12 and specifically acts as an allosteric inhibitor of mTORC1. Rapamycin (Sirolimus) is an autophagy activator, an immunosuppressant.

Rapamycin (Sirolimus) Chemical Structure

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10mM (in 1mL DMSO)
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Sample solution is provided at 25 µL, 10mM.

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Cell experiment [1]:

Cell lines

HGF-Treated Lens Epithelial Cells (LECs)

Preparation Method

After pretreatment with HGF for 12 h, LEC was treated with increased doses of rapamycin (0, 1.5 and 10 ng/mL) at different time points (24, 48 and 72 h).

Reaction Conditions

1/5/10 ng/mL for 24/48h/72h


Rapamycin inhibited the proliferation of lens epithelial cells (LEC) induced by hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) in a dose-and time-dependent manner.

Animal experiment [2]:

Animal models

Ndufs4 -- / -- mice

Preparation Method

Rapamycin (8 mg/kg) was delivered by intraperitoneal injection every other day from weaning [approximately day 20 postpartum (P20)].

Dosage form

8 mg/kg, every other day, by intraperitoneal injection


Rapamycin reduces neurologic disease in Ndufs4 -- / -- mice.


[1]: Tian F, Dong L, et,al. Rapamycin-Induced apoptosis in HGF-stimulated lens epithelial cells by AKT/mTOR, ERK and JAK2/STAT3 pathways. Int J Mol Sci. 2014 Aug 11;15(8):13833-48. doi: 10.3390/ijms150813833. PMID: 25116684; PMCID: PMC4159827.
[2]: Johnson SC, Yanos ME, et,al. mTOR inhibition alleviates mitochondrial disease in a mouse model of Leigh syndrome. Science. 2013 Dec 20;342(6165):1524-8. doi: 10.1126/science.1244360. Epub 2013 Nov 14. PMID: 24231806; PMCID: PMC4055856.


Rapamycin used to be used as an antifungal antibiotic[3]. Rapamycin exerts immunosuppressive effects by inhibiting the activation and proliferation of T cells. Rapamycin binds to FK-binding protein 12 (FKBP12) to form the Rapamycin-FKBP12 complex, which can inhibit mTOR[4,6].As a potent and specific mTOR inhibitor with an 50 of 0.1 nM in HEK293 cells. Rapamycin binds to FKBP12 and specifically acts as an allosteric inhibitor of mTORC1[5].

Rapamycin (12.5-100 nM; 24 hours) treatment exerts modest inhibitory effect on lung cancer cell proliferation in a dose-dependent manner in all cell lines (A549, SPC-A-1, 95D and NCI-H446 cells) tested, achieving about 30-40% reduction in cell proliferation at 100 nM vs. ~10% reduction at 12.5 nM[7].Rapamycin potently not only suppressed proliferation but also induced the apoptosis of LECs in a dose-dependent manner under HGF administration. Rapamycin could promote apoptosis of LECs via inhibiting HGF-induced phosphorylation of AKT/mTOR, ERK and JAK2/STAT3 signaling molecules[1].

Rapamycin reduces neurologic disease in Ndufs4 -- / -- mice. In rapamycin treated knockout mice, the percentage of mice exhibiting neurological symptoms was greatly reduced at each age point after P35, and about half of these mice never showed obvious signs of neurological disease before dying[2]. Rapamycin alone has a moderate inhibitory effect. However, the combination of Metformin and Rapamycin exerts a significantly increased inhibition of tumor growth compared with the control group, the Rapamycin monotherapy group and the Metformin monotherapy group[8].Rapamycin treatment in cell culture significantly inhibits c-Myc-regulated gene expression. Rapamycin suppresses tumor growth along with a decreased expression of STAT3 and c-Myc in an in vivo xenograft mouse model for hepatocellular carcinoma[9].

[1]: Tian F, Dong L, et,al. Rapamycin-Induced apoptosis in HGF-stimulated lens epithelial cells by AKT/mTOR, ERK and JAK2/STAT3 pathways. Int J Mol Sci. 2014 Aug 11;15(8):13833-48. doi: 10.3390/ijms150813833. PMID: 25116684; PMCID: PMC4159827.
[2]: Johnson SC, Yanos ME, et,al. mTOR inhibition alleviates mitochondrial disease in a mouse model of Leigh syndrome. Science. 2013 Dec 20;342(6165):1524-8. doi: 10.1126/science.1244360. Epub 2013 Nov 14. PMID: 24231806; PMCID: PMC4055856.
[3]: Sehgal SN, Baker H, et,al. Rapamycin (AY-22,989), a new antifungal antibiotic. II. Fermentation, isolation and characterization. J Antibiot (Tokyo). 1975 Oct;28(10):727-32. doi: 10.7164/antibiotics.28.727. PMID: 1102509.
[4]: Sehgal SN. Rapamune (RAPA, rapamycin, sirolimus): mechanism of action immunosuppressive effect results from blockade of signal transduction and inhibition of cell cycle progression. Clin Biochem. 1998 Jul;31(5):335-40. doi: 10.1016/s0009-9120(98)00045-9. PMID: 9721431.
[5]: Edwards SR, Wandless TJ. The rapamycin-binding domain of the protein kinase mammalian target of rapamycin is a destabilizing domain. J Biol Chem. 2007 May 4;282(18):13395-401. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M700498200. Epub 2007 Mar 9. PMID: 17350953; PMCID: PMC3763840.
[6]: Rangaraju S, Verrier JD, et,al. Rapamycin activates autophagy and improves myelination in explant cultures from neuropathic mice. J Neurosci. 2010 Aug 25;30(34):11388-97. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1356-10.2010. PMID: 20739560; PMCID: PMC3478092.
[7]: Niu H, Wang J, et,al. Rapamycin potentiates cytotoxicity by docetaxel possibly through downregulation of Survivin in lung cancer cells. J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2011 Mar 10;30(1):28. doi: 10.1186/1756-9966-30-28. PMID: 21392382; PMCID: PMC3065416.
[8]: Zhang JW, Zhao F, et,al. Metformin synergizes with rapamycin to inhibit the growth of pancreatic cancer in vitro and in vivo. Oncol Lett. 2018 Feb;15(2):1811-1816. doi: 10.3892/ol.2017.7444. Epub 2017 Nov 20. PMID: 29434877; PMCID: PMC5774390.
[9]: Sun L, Yan Y, et,al. Rapamycin targets STAT3 and impacts c-Myc to suppress tumor growth. Cell Chem Biol. 2022 Mar 17;29(3):373-385.e6. doi: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2021.10.006. Epub 2021 Oct 26. PMID: 34706270.

Chemical Properties

Cas No. 53123-88-9 SDF
Synonyms Sirolimus,(-)-Rapamycin, AY-22989, WY-090217, Antibiotic AY22989
Chemical Name N/A
Canonical SMILES O[C@H]1[C@H](OC)C[C@H](C[C@@H](C)[C@H](CC([C@H](C)/C=C(C)/[C@H]([C@@H](OC)C([C@@H](C[C@@H](/C=C/C=C/C=C(C)/[C@@H](OC)C[C@@H]2CC[C@@H](C)[C@@](C(C(N3[C@H]4CCCC3)=O)=O)(O)O2)C)C)=O)O)=O)OC4=O)CC1
Formula C51H79NO13 M.Wt 914.18
Solubility ≥ 45.709mg/mL in DMSO, ≥ 58.9 mg/mL in EtOH with ultrasonic Storage Desiccate at -20°C
General tips For obtaining a higher solubility , please warm the tube at 37 ℃ and shake it in the ultrasonic bath for a while.Stock solution can be stored below -20℃ for several months.
Shipping Condition Evaluation sample solution : ship with blue ice
All other available size: ship with RT , or blue ice upon request

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Research Update

Effect of rapamycin on aging and age-related diseases-past and future

Geroscience2021 Jun;43(3):1135-1158.PMID: 33037985DOI: 10.1007/s11357-020-00274-1

In 2009, rapamycin was reported to increase the lifespan of mice when implemented later in life. This observation resulted in a sea-change in how researchers viewed aging. This was the first evidence that a pharmacological agent could have an impact on aging when administered later in life, i.e., an intervention that did not have to be implemented early in life before the negative impact of aging. Over the past decade, there has been an explosion in the number of reports studying the effect of rapamycin on various diseases, physiological functions, and biochemical processes in mice. In this review, we focus on those areas in which there is strong evidence for rapamycin's effect on aging and age-related diseases in mice, e.g., lifespan, cardiac disease/function, central nervous system, immune system, and cell senescence. We conclude that it is time that pre-clinical studies be focused on taking rapamycin to the clinic, e.g., as a potential treatment for Alzheimer's disease.

Sirolimus: its discovery, biological properties, and mechanism of action

Transplant Proc2003 May;35(3 Suppl):7S-14S.PMID: 12742462DOI: 10.1016/s0041-1345(03)00211-2

Sirolimus is the USAN-assigned generic name for the natural product rapamycin. Sirolimus is produced by a strain of Streptomyces hygroscopicus, isolated from a soil sample collected from Rapa Nui commonly known as Easter Island. Although sirolimus was isolated as an antifungal agent with potent anticandida activity, subsequent studies revealed impressive antitumor and immunosuppressive activities. Sirolimus demonstrates activity against several murine tumors, such as B16 43 melanocarcinoma, Colon 26 tumor, EM ependymoblastoma, and mammary and colon 38 solid tumors. Sirolimus is a potent inhibitor of antigen-induced proliferation of T cells, B cells, and antibody production. Demonstration of the potent immunosuppressive activity of sirolimus in animal models of organ transplantation led to clinical trials and subsequent approval by regulatory authorities for prophylaxis of renal graft rejection. Interest in sirolimus as an immunosuppressive therapy in organ transplantation derives from its unique mechanism of action, its unique side-effect profile, and its ability to synergize with other immunosuppressive agents. The molecular mechanism underlying the antifungal, antiproliferative, and immunosuppressive activities of sirolimus is the same. Sirolimus forms an immunosuppressive complex with intracellular protein, FKBP12. This complex blocks the activation of the cell-cycle-specific kinase, TOR. The downstream events that follow the inactivation of TOR result in the blockage of cell-cycle progression at the juncture of G1 and S phase.

From rapalogs to anti-aging formula

Oncotarget2017 May 30;8(22):35492-35507.PMID: 28548953DOI: 10.18632/oncotarget.18033

Inhibitors of mTOR, including clinically available rapalogs such as rapamycin (Sirolimus) and Everolimus, are gerosuppressants, which suppress cellular senescence. Rapamycin slows aging and extends life span in a variety of species from worm to mammals. Rapalogs can prevent age-related diseases, including cancer, atherosclerosis, obesity, neurodegeneration and retinopathy and potentially rejuvenate stem cells, immunity and metabolism. Here, I further suggest how rapamycin can be combined with metformin, inhibitors of angiotensin II signaling (Losartan, Lisinopril), statins (simvastatin, atorvastatin), propranolol, aspirin and a PDE5 inhibitor. Rational combinations of these drugs with physical exercise and an anti-aging diet (Koschei formula) can maximize their anti-aging effects and decrease side effects.

Clinical pharmacokinetics of everolimus

Clin Pharmacokinet2004;43(2):83-95.PMID: 14748618DOI: 10.2165/00003088-200443020-00002

Everolimus is an immunosuppressive macrolide bearing a stable 2-hydroxyethyl chain substitution at position 40 on the sirolimus (rapamycin) structure. Everolimus, which has greater polarity than sirolimus, was developed in an attempt to improve the pharmacokinetic characteristics of sirolimus, particularly to increase its oral bioavailability. Everolimus has a mechanism of action similar to that of sirolimus. It blocks growth-driven transduction signals in the T-cell response to alloantigen and thus acts at a later stage than the calcineurin inhibitors ciclosporin and tacrolimus. Everolimus and ciclosporin show synergism in immunosuppression both in vitro and in vivo and therefore the drugs are intended to be given in combination after solid organ transplantation. The synergistic effect allows a dosage reduction that decreases adverse effects. For the quantification of the pharmacokinetics of everolimus, nine different assays using high performance liquid chromatography coupled to an electrospray mass spectrometer, and one enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, have been developed. Oral everolimus is absorbed rapidly, and reaches peak concentration after 1.3-1.8 hours. Steady state is reached within 7 days, and steady-state peak and trough concentrations, and area under the concentration-time curve (AUC), are proportional to dosage. In adults, everolimus pharmacokinetic characteristics do not differ according to age, weight or sex, but bodyweight-adjusted dosages are necessary in children. The interindividual pharmacokinetic variability of everolimus can be explained by different activities of the drug efflux pump P-glycoprotein and of metabolism by cytochrome P450 (CYP) 3A4, 3A5 and 2C8. The critical role of the CYP3A4 system for everolimus biotransformation leads to drug-drug interactions with other drugs metabolised by this cytochrome system. In patients with hepatic impairment, the apparent clearance of everolimus is significantly lower than in healthy volunteers, and therefore the dosage of everolimus should be reduced by half in these patients. The advantage of everolimus seems to be its lower nephrotoxicity in comparison with the standard immunosuppressants ciclosporin and tacrolimus. Observed adverse effects with everolimus include hypertriglyceridaemia, hypercholesterolaemia, opportunistic infections, thrombocytopenia and leucocytopenia. Because of the variable oral bioavailability and narrow therapeutic index of everolimus, blood concentration monitoring seems to be important. The excellent correlation between steady-state trough concentration and AUC makes the former a simple and reliable index for monitoring everolimus exposure. The target trough concentration of everolimus should range between 3 and 15 microg/L in combination therapy with ciclosporin (trough concentration 100-300 microg/L) and prednisone.

Sirolimus (rapamycin): from the soil of Easter Island to a bright future

J Am Acad Dermatol2007 Dec;57(6):1046-50.PMID: 17583372DOI: 10.1016/j.jaad.2007.05.021

Discovered in fungi in the remote Easter Island, sirolimus (rapamycin) shows potential beyond its obvious antiproliferative and immunosuppressant activity. Studies have demonstrated that sirolimus acts as a vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitor, providing prospective therapeutic benefits and possible prevention of tuberous sclerosis and Kaposi's sarcoma. Its ability to decrease keratinocyte proliferation may help patients with psoriasis. In those with tuberous sclerosis complex, it may prevent the development of hamartomas and reduce or eliminate them once grown by blocking the mammalian target of rapamycin, a critical regulatory kinase. A great advantage for this drug is in the decreased risk of malignancies, including Kaposi's sarcoma, associated with its use compared with other immunosuppressants, namely calcineurin inhibitors. This review will focus on the pharmacology and potential uses of sirolimus.


Review for Rapamycin (Sirolimus)

Average Rating: 5 ★★★★★ (Based on Reviews and 4 reference(s) in Google Scholar.)

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