Chembox new
ImageFileL1 = Gossypol.png ImageSizeL1 = 200px
ImageFileR1 = Gossypol_(structure).png ImageSizeR1 = 220px
IUPACName = 2,2′-bis-(Formyl-1,6,7-trihydroxy-5-isopropyl-3-methylnaphthalene)
OtherNames =
Section1 = Chembox Identifiers
CASNo = 303-45-7
PubChem =
SMILES = CC(C)c2c1cc(C)c(c(c4O)c(C)cc3c4c(C=O) c(O)c(O)c3C(C)C)c(O)c1c(C=O)c(O)c2O
InChI = 1/C30H30O8/c1-11(2)19-15-7- 13(5)21(27(35)23(15)17(9- 31)25(33)29(19)37)22- 14(6)8-16-20(12(3)4)30(38) 26(34)18(10-32)24(16) 28(22)36/h7-12,33-38H,1-6H3

Section2 = Chembox Properties
Formula = C30H30O8
MolarMass = 518.563 g/mol
Appearance = Brown solid
Density =
MeltingPt =177 - 182 °C (dec)
BoilingPt =
Solubility =

Section3 = Chembox Hazards
MainHazards =
FlashPt =
Autoignition =

Gossypol C30H30O8 is a polyphenol derived from the cotton plant (genus "Gossypium", family "Malvaceae"). Gossypol is a polyphenolic aldehyde that permeates cells and acts as an inhibitor for several dehydrogenase enzymes. It is a yellow pigment.

Among other things, it has been tested as a male oral contraceptive in China. In addition to its contraceptive properties, gossypol has also long been known to possess anti-malarial properties. Other researchers are investigating the anti-cancer properties of gossypol.

Biological properties

It has proapoptotic properties, probably due to the regulation of the Bax and Bcl2. It also reversibly inhibits Calcineurin and binds to calmodulin. Inhibits replication of the HIV-1 virus. It is an effective protein kinase C inhibitor. [ [http://www.bioscreening.net/glossary/gossypol/ About Gossypol at Bioscreening.net] ]

Contraceptive use

A 1929 investigation in Jiangxi showed correlation between low fertility in males and use of crude cottonseed oil for cooking. The compound causing the contraceptive effect was determined to be gossypol.

In the 1970s, the Chinese government began researching the use of gossypol as a contraceptive. Their studies involved over 10,000 subjects, and continued for over a decade. They concluded that gossypol provided reliable contraception, could be taken orally as a tablet, and did not upset men's balance of hormones.

However, gossypol also had serious flaws. The studies also discovered an abnormally high rate of hypokalemia among subjects. Hypokalemia — low blood potassium levels — is usually the result of kidney malfunction and causes symptoms of fatigue, muscle weakness, and at its most extreme, paralysis. In addition, about 7% of subjects reported effects on their digestive system, and about 12% increased fatigue. Most subjects recovered after stopping treatment and taking potassium supplements. A later study showed that taking potassium supplements during gossypol treatment did not prevent hypokalemia in primates.

In the mid-1990s, the Brazilian pharmaceutical company Hebron announced plans to market a low-dose gossypol pill called Nofertil, but the pill never came to market. Its release was indefinitely postponed due to unacceptably high rates of permanent infertility. Between five and twenty-five percent of the men remained azoospermic up to a year after stopping treatment. The longer the men had taken the drug and the higher their overall dosage, the more likely the men were to have lowered fertility or to become completely infertile. Researchers have suggested that gossypol might make a good non-invasive alternative to surgical vasectomy. [cite journal|journal=Contraception| author=Coutinho, F. M.| title = Gossypol: a contraceptive for men| date = Apr 2002| volume = 65| issue = 4| pages = 259–263| pmid= 12020773| doi = 10.1016/S0010-7824(02)00294-9]

In 1986, the Chinese stopped research because of these side effects.Fact|date=March 2007

In 1998, the World Health Organization's Research Group on Methods for the Regulation of Male Fertility recommended that research should be abandoned. In addition to the other side effects, the WHO researchers were concerned about gossypol's toxicity: the toxic dose in primates is less than 10 times the contraceptive dose. This report effectively ended further studies of gossypol as a temporary contraceptive, but research into using it as an alternative to vasectomy continues in Austria, Brazil, Chile, China, the Dominican Republic, and Nigeria.

Oncology Testing

Gossypol is also under investigation as a possible chemotherapy drug especially in its R- state. It is currently believed that gossypol in itself will not kill cancerous cells, however it changes the chemistery within the cancer cell and makes it more suceptible to traditional chemotherapy drugs. Phased trials have been done on resistant prostate and lung cancer. Few results have been published to date so no conclusions can be drawn.


Food and animal agricultural industries must manage cotton-derivative product levels to avoid toxicity. For example, only ruminant microflora can digest gossypol, but only to a certain level, and cottonseed oil must be refined.

Researchers at Texas A&M University have genetically engineered cotton plants that contain very little gossypol in the seed, but still contain the compound in the stems and leaves. This provides protection against pests and diseases, while allowing the seed to be used for oil and meal for human consumption. The plants are modified by RNAi, shutting down the genes for gossypol production in the seed while leaving them unaffected in the rest of the plant. The resulting gossypol-free cottonseed is then suitable as a high-quality protein source suitable for consumption not only by cattle, but also by humans, pigs, chickens, or turkeys, making the plant additionally valuable as a food crop. [ [http://www.medgadget.com/archives/2006/11/cottonseed_prot.html Cottonseed Protein: From Farmers to Your Family Table - Medgadget - www.medgadget.com ] ]


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • gossypol — ● gossypol nom masculin (latin scientifique gossypium, coton) Pigment jaune du cotonnier, toxique pour les animaux et les humains. (Il existe maintenant des cotonniers sélectionnés sans gossypol.) …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • gossypol — [gäs′ə pôl, gäs′əpōl΄] n. [Ger < ModL Gossypium, genus name of cotton + ol, OL1] a toxic, phenolic pigment, C30H30O8, in cotton plants: it inhibits sperm production and is used experimentally as a male contraceptive …   English World dictionary

  • Gossypol — Strukturformel Allgemeines Name Gossypol Andere Namen 2,2′ bis …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Gossypol — Gos|sy|pol [nlat. Gossypium = Baumwollpflanze (Bot.); ↑ Oleum] aus versch. Teilen des Baumwollstrauchs isolierbares gelbes Sesquiterpen Dimeres, das wegen seiner Hemmwirkung auf die Spermienentwicklung als Antikonzeptionsmittel für den Mann in… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • gossypol — A toxic principle isolated from the seed of the cotton plant (Gossypium) that reduces sperm count; used in China as an oral male contraceptive. * * * gos·sy·pol gäs ə .pȯl, .pōl n a phenolic pigment C30H30O …   Medical dictionary

  • gossypol — noun Etymology: International Scientific Vocabulary, ultimately from Latin gossypion cotton Date: 1899 a toxic phenolic pigment C30H30O8 in cottonseed …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • gossypol — /gos euh pawl , pol /, n. a toxic pigment, C30H30O8, derived from cottonseed oil, made nontoxic by heating, presently under study as a potential male contraceptive and antimicrobial. [1895 1900; < NL Gossyp(ium) (see GOSSYPOSE) + OL1] * * * …   Universalium

  • gossypol — noun Any of a class of toxic polyphenols found in the seeds of the cotton plant …   Wiktionary

  • Gossypol — Gos|sy|pol das; s <zu lat. oleum »Öl«> in Samen u. Wurzelrinde der Baumwollpflanze enthaltene giftige Substanz, die beim Menschen die ↑Spermiogenese u. Befruchtungsfähigkeit der ↑Spermien hemmt …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • gossypol — gos·sy·pol …   English syllables

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