Rauvolfia serpentina Overview Page

Permission granted to use by Peiria

Common Name

Serpentwood; Indian Snakeroot

Taxonomic Classification

Apocynaceae family

Drug Uses

Rauvolfia serpentina had already been used as an important drug around the year 1000 B.C. under the name of "sarpagandha root" during the period of Ayurvedic in Indian. Its therapeutical usage included at that time for instance the treatment of snake bites, fever and insanity. The plant contains more than 50 different alkaloids, commonly known as Rauvolfia alkaloids, which belong to the family of monoterpenoid indole alkaloids. The most important ones are reserpine, ajmaline, ajmalicine (raubasine). The extract of Rauvolfia root shows three effects which correlate to the specific activity profiles of these compounds: central sedative effect (reserpine), peripheral vascular dilatation (hypotensive effect of reserpine and ajmalicine) and heart rate deceleration (ajmaline). The effects are mainly characterized by the inhibition of the sympathetic nervous system.

Enzyme Information

Enzyme NameEC NoGenbank AccessionGI No
Typtophan decarboxylaseN/AN/AN/A
Perakine reductaseN/AAAX11684.159896631
Strictosidine synthase4.3.3.2CAA44208.121127
Strictosidine synthase4.3.3.2CAA68725.121129
Strictosidine synthase4.3.3.21413232A226162
Acetylajmalan acetylesterase3.1.1.81AAW88320.159595625
Polyneuridine aldehyde esterase3.1.1.78AAF22288.16651393
Vinorine synthase2.3.1.160CAD89104.257635335
Arbutin synthase2.4.1.218CAC35167.113508844

Entries in Genbank

dbEST/(Kb) dbGSS/(Kb) dbPLN/(Kb) dbHTG/(Kb) Total Entriesa/(Kb)

aThe Total Entries column is the sum of the entries from the dbEST, dbGSS, dbPLN, and dbHTG columns. Data retrieved from NCBI on May 14 2010.

Transcript Assemblies


    Cloned Genes

    • Strictosidine synthase
    • Strictosidine glucosidase
    • Polyneuridine aldehyde esterase
    • Vinorine synthase
    • Cytochrome P450 reductase
    • Raucaffricine-O-β-D-glucosidase
    • Perakine reductase
    • Acetylajmalan acetylesterase
    • Arbutin synthase

    Pubmed Records

    • 47 records

    See all Rauvolfia serpentina papers within last Week, Month or Year.