Emetine dihydrochloride is the principal alkaloid of epicac, isolated from Uragoga ipecacuanha ground roots. In eukaryotes, emetine dihydrochloride is known to inhibit ribosome movement along mRNA, thus irreversibly blocking protein synthesis. Emetine dihydrochloride has been shown to block adrenoreceptors, thus inducing hypotension. Emetine dihydrochloride has been reported to interfere with cytometric DNA replication analysis at the early S phase. Emetine dihydrochloride identified as a specific HIF inhibitor via reduced HIF-2α protein stability and transcriptional activity. Emetine is sometimes used as an amebicide and may cause serious cardiac, hepatic and renal damage and induce severe diarrhea and vomiting.
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