Chemical Component Summary

FormulaC25 H30 N3
Molecular Weight372.53
Isomeric SMILESCN(C)c1ccc(cc1)C(=C1C=CC(C=C1)=[N+](C)C)c1ccc(cc1)N(C)C

Chemical Details

Formal Charge1
Atom Count58
Chiral Atom Count0
Chiral Atomsn/a
Bond Count60
Aromatic Bond Count12
Leaving Atomsn/a

Drug Info: DrugBank

DrugBank IDDB00406 Different stereochemistry
NameGentian Violet
DescriptionA dye that is a mixture of violet rosanilinis with antibacterial, antifungal, and anthelmintic properties. [PubChem]
  • Crystal Violet
  • Crystal violet carbocation
  • Crystal violet ion(1)
  • Crystal violet(1+)
  • Gentian violet carbocation
SaltsGentian violet chloride
Brand Names
  • De LA Cruz Gentian Violet
  • Gentian Violet 2%
  • Gentian Violet Topical Solution
  • Gentiane Violet Liq Top
Affected Organism
  • Yeast and other fungi
  • Bacteria and protozoa
IndicationFor the treatment of bacterial and fungal infections inside the mouth (thrush) and skin, also for the prevention of transmission of Chagas' disease (as a blood additive).
PharmacologyGentian violet is a mutagen, a mitotic poison, and a clastogen. Gentian violet has been used in medicine for almost 100 years: as an antiseptic for external use, as a topical antibiotic, as a topical antifungal agent, as an antihelminthic agent by oral administration, and more recently, as a blood additive to prevent transmission of Chagas' disease. It is thought to work by binding to the DNA of target organisms and causing disruption, mutation or inhibition of DNA replication.
Mechanism of actionIn aqueous solutions Gentian violet (GV) dissociates into positive (GV+)and negative ions (Cl-) that penetrate through the wall and membrane of both gram-positive and gram-negative bacterial cells. The GV+ interacts with negatively charged components of bacterial cells including the lipopolysaccharide (on the cell wall), the peptidoglycan and DNA. A similar cell penetration and DNA binding process is thought to take place for fungal cells as well. Because Gentian violet is a mutagen and mitotic poison, cell growth is consequently inhibited. A photodynamic action of gentian violet, apparently mediated by a free-radical mechanism, has recently been described in bacteria and in the protozoan T. cruzi. Evidence also suggests that gentian violet dissipates the bacterial (and mitochondrial) membrane potential by inducing permeability. This is followed by respiratory inhibition. This anti-mitochondrial activity might explain gentian violet's efficacy towards both bacteria and yeast with relatively mild effects on mammalian cells.
Route of administrationTopical
  • Amines
  • Aniline Compounds
  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Chemical Actions and Uses
  • D01AE02
  • G01AX09
CAS number14426-25-6

Drug Targets

NameSequence SearchPharmacological ActionActions
Drug Info/Drug Targets: DrugBank 3.0: a comprehensive resource for 'omics' research on drugs. Knox C, Law V, Jewison T, Liu P, Ly S, Frolkis A, Pon A, Banco K, Mak C, Neveu V, Djoumbou Y, Eisner R, Guo AC, Wishart DS. Nucleic Acids Res. 2011 Jan; 39 (Database issue):D1035-41. | PMID:21059682