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Record Information
Creation Date2009-06-08 16:35:18 UTC
Update Date2014-12-24 20:22:52 UTC
Accession NumberT3D0825
Common NamePsoralen
ClassSmall Molecule
DescriptionPsoralen is found in carrot. Psoralen is found in common vegetables, e.g. parsnip, celery especially if diseased or `spoiled' Psoralen is a significant mutagen and is used for this purpose in molecular biology research. Psoralen has been shown to exhibit anti-proliferative, anti-allergenic and anti-histamine functions (1, 2, 2). Psoralen belongs to the family of Furanocoumarins. These are polycyclic aromatic compounds containing a furan ring fused to a coumarin moeity.
Compound Type
  • Aromatic Hydrocarbon
  • Ester
  • Food Toxin
  • Furocoumarin
  • Industrial/Workplace Toxin
  • Metabolite
  • Natural Compound
  • Organic Compound
  • Plant Toxin
Chemical Structure
3-(6-Hydroxy-5-benzofuranyl)-2-propenoic acid delta-lactone
5-Benzofuranacrylic acid, 6-hydroxy-, delta-lactone
6-Hydroxy-5-benzofuranacrylic acid beta-lactone
6-Hydroxy-5-benzofuranacrylic acid delta-lactone
6-Hydroxy-5-benzofuranacrylic acid gamma-lactone
7H-Furo[3,2-g][1]benzopyran-7-one, 9CI
Chemical FormulaC11H6O3
Average Molecular Mass186.164 g/mol
Monoisotopic Mass186.032 g/mol
CAS Registry Number66-97-7
IUPAC Name7H-furo[3,2-g]chromen-7-one
Traditional Namepsoralen
InChI IdentifierInChI=1S/C11H6O3/c12-11-2-1-7-5-8-3-4-13-9(8)6-10(7)14-11/h1-6H
Chemical Taxonomy
Description belongs to the class of organic compounds known as psoralens. These are organic compounds containing a psoralen moiety, which consists of a furan fused to a chromenone to for 7H-furo[3,2-g]chromen-7-one.
KingdomOrganic compounds
Super ClassPhenylpropanoids and polyketides
ClassCoumarins and derivatives
Sub ClassFuranocoumarins
Direct ParentPsoralens
Alternative Parents
  • Psoralen
  • Benzopyran
  • 1-benzopyran
  • Benzofuran
  • Pyranone
  • Benzenoid
  • Pyran
  • Furan
  • Heteroaromatic compound
  • Lactone
  • Oxacycle
  • Organoheterocyclic compound
  • Organooxygen compound
  • Hydrocarbon derivative
  • Organic oxide
  • Organic oxygen compound
  • Aromatic heteropolycyclic compound
Molecular FrameworkAromatic heteropolycyclic compounds
External Descriptors
Biological Properties
StatusDetected and Not Quantified
Cellular Locations
  • Cytoplasm
  • Extracellular
Biofluid LocationsNot Available
Tissue LocationsNot Available
PathwaysNot Available
ApplicationsNot Available
Biological Roles
Chemical RolesNot Available
Physical Properties
AppearanceWhite powder.
Experimental Properties
Melting Point171°C
Boiling PointNot Available
SolubilityNot Available
Predicted Properties
Water Solubility0.13 g/LALOGPS
pKa (Strongest Basic)-2.9ChemAxon
Physiological Charge0ChemAxon
Hydrogen Acceptor Count1ChemAxon
Hydrogen Donor Count0ChemAxon
Polar Surface Area39.44 ŲChemAxon
Rotatable Bond Count0ChemAxon
Refractivity50.39 m³·mol⁻¹ChemAxon
Polarizability18.1 ųChemAxon
Number of Rings3ChemAxon
Rule of FiveYesChemAxon
Ghose FilterYesChemAxon
Veber's RuleYesChemAxon
MDDR-like RuleYesChemAxon
Spectrum TypeDescriptionSplash KeyView
GC-MSGC-MS Spectrum - GC-EI-TOF (Non-derivatized)splash10-0pbi-0900000000-f4158c6b7c0ecf20d9feJSpectraViewer | MoNA
GC-MSGC-MS Spectrum - GC-EI-TOF (Non-derivatized)splash10-0r2i-6900000000-276c6db470fc13777449JSpectraViewer | MoNA
GC-MSGC-MS Spectrum - GC-EI-TOF (Non-derivatized)splash10-0pbi-0900000000-f4158c6b7c0ecf20d9feJSpectraViewer | MoNA
GC-MSGC-MS Spectrum - GC-EI-TOF (Non-derivatized)splash10-0r2i-6900000000-276c6db470fc13777449JSpectraViewer | MoNA
Predicted GC-MSPredicted GC-MS Spectrum - GC-MS (Non-derivatized) - 70eV, Positivesplash10-052u-1900000000-900e13490ddfba7e89efJSpectraViewer
LC-MS/MSLC-MS/MS Spectrum - LC-ESI-qTof , Positivesplash10-00lr-1900000000-ac91ad62c36a29665a71JSpectraViewer | MoNA
LC-MS/MSLC-MS/MS Spectrum - LC-ESI-QTOF , positivesplash10-000i-0900000000-75211365e04f08273288JSpectraViewer | MoNA
LC-MS/MSLC-MS/MS Spectrum - LC-ESI-QTOF , positivesplash10-00lr-0900000000-fa9d08e8d5421ebeaa77JSpectraViewer | MoNA
LC-MS/MSLC-MS/MS Spectrum - LC-ESI-QTOF , positivesplash10-0f89-0900000000-bacd49139ec536fb55e7JSpectraViewer | MoNA
LC-MS/MSLC-MS/MS Spectrum - , positivesplash10-00lr-1900000000-ac91ad62c36a29665a71JSpectraViewer | MoNA
LC-MS/MSLC-MS/MS Spectrum - , positivesplash10-001r-0900000000-195d9e7e3b29cf95c327JSpectraViewer | MoNA
LC-MS/MSLC-MS/MS Spectrum - 10V, Positivesplash10-000i-0900000000-75211365e04f08273288JSpectraViewer | MoNA
LC-MS/MSLC-MS/MS Spectrum - 20V, Positivesplash10-00lr-0900000000-fa9d08e8d5421ebeaa77JSpectraViewer | MoNA
LC-MS/MSLC-MS/MS Spectrum - 40V, Positivesplash10-0f89-0900000000-bacd49139ec536fb55e7JSpectraViewer | MoNA
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 10V, Positivesplash10-000i-0900000000-287480067e742345fcb9JSpectraViewer
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 20V, Positivesplash10-000i-0900000000-2bf4a5ffe9d6883b015eJSpectraViewer
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 40V, Positivesplash10-0006-1900000000-519db61c8cb6a8a31549JSpectraViewer
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 10V, Negativesplash10-000i-0900000000-559cba64d14574cb0041JSpectraViewer
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 20V, Negativesplash10-000i-0900000000-503a6a3d5ba551e5c0f5JSpectraViewer
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 40V, Negativesplash10-0006-0900000000-857f114f045cf9aa2b39JSpectraViewer
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 10V, Positivesplash10-000i-0900000000-f3f07adc83a68e9e76ffJSpectraViewer
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 20V, Positivesplash10-000i-0900000000-f3f07adc83a68e9e76ffJSpectraViewer
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 40V, Positivesplash10-0a4i-0900000000-a2c2c14d0cf6b23ada92JSpectraViewer
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 10V, Negativesplash10-000i-0900000000-89e4df10d3690e5a6d15JSpectraViewer
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 20V, Negativesplash10-000i-0900000000-89e4df10d3690e5a6d15JSpectraViewer
Predicted LC-MS/MSPredicted LC-MS/MS Spectrum - 40V, Negativesplash10-000i-0900000000-89e4df10d3690e5a6d15JSpectraViewer
MSMass Spectrum (Electron Ionization)splash10-052r-3900000000-eff7b2146482de5c7740JSpectraViewer | MoNA
1D NMR1H NMR SpectrumNot AvailableJSpectraViewer
Toxicity Profile
Route of ExposureNot Available
Mechanism of ToxicityThe mechanism of action many furocoumarins is based on their ability to form photoadducts with DNA and other cellular components such as RNA, proteins, and several proteins found in the membrane such as phospholipases A2 and C, Ca-dependent and cAMPdependent protein-kinase and epidermal growth factor. Furocoumarins intercalate between base pairs of DNA and after ultraviolet-A irradiation, giving cycloadducts. (7).
MetabolismNot Available
Toxicity ValuesNot Available
Lethal DoseNot Available
Carcinogenicity (IARC Classification)Not listed by IARC. IARC has assessed other furocoumarins, classifying 8-methoxypsoralen as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1), 5-methoxypsoralen as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2A), and certain other furocoumarins as not being classifiable as to their carcinogenicity to humans (Group 3). (8)
Uses/SourcesAnthelmintics, cross-linking reagent, photosensitising agent. Photochemical reagent for the investigation of nucleic acid structure and function. (7)
Minimum Risk LevelNot Available
Health EffectsThe furocoumarin 8-methoxypsoralen is carcinogenic to humans, and possibly 5-methoxypsoralen as well (8). There is some evidence from mouse studies that other furocoumarins are carcinogenic when combined with exposure to UVA radiation (3). The SKLM regards the additional risk of skin cancer arising from the consumption of typical quantities of furocoumarin-containing foods, which remain significantly below the range of phototoxic doses, as insignificant. However, the consumption of phototoxic quantities cannot be ruled out for certain foods, particularly celery and parsnips, that may lead to significant increases in furocoumarin concentrations, depending on the storage, processing and production conditions. (9) Furocoumarin photochemotherapy is known to induce a number of side-effects including erythema, edema, hyperpigmentation, and premature aging of skin. All photobiological effects of furocoumarins result from their photochemical reactions. Because many dietary or water soluble furocoumarins are strong inhibitors of cytochrome P450s, they will also cause adverse drug reactions when taken with other drugs.
SymptomsHarmful if swallowed. Irritating to eyes, respiratory system and skin. (7)
TreatmentIn case of contact with eyes, rinse immediately with plenty of water and seek medical advice. (7)
Normal Concentrations
Not Available
Abnormal Concentrations
Not Available
DrugBank IDNot Available
PubChem Compound ID6199
ChemSpider ID5964
UniProt IDNot Available
ChEBI ID27616
CTD IDD005363
Stitch IDPsoralen
PDB IDNot Available
ACToR IDNot Available
Wikipedia LinkPsoralen
Synthesis ReferenceNot Available
General References
  1. Rodighiero P, Guiotto A, Pastorini G, Manzini P, Bordin F, Baccichetti F, Carlassare F, Vedaldi D, Dall'Acqua F: Photochemical and photobiological properties of 4,5'-dimethylpsoralen, a bifunctional contaminant of synthetic 4,5'-dimethylangelicin. Farmaco Sci. 1981 Jul;36(7):648-62. [7274446 ]
  2. Insawang M, Wongpraparut C: Recalcitrant solar urticaria induced by UVA and visible light: a case report. J Med Assoc Thai. 2010 Oct;93(10):1238-41. [20973330 ]
  3. Mullen MP, Pathak MA, West JD, Harrist TJ, Dall'Acqua F: Carcinogenic effects of monofunctional and bifunctional furocoumarins. Natl Cancer Inst Monogr. 1984 Dec;66:205-10. [6531030 ]
  4. Ostertag E, Becker T, Ammon J, Bauer-Aymanns H, Schrenk D: Effects of storage conditions on furocoumarin levels in intact, chopped, or homogenized parsnips. J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Apr 24;50(9):2565-70. [11958623 ]
  5. Santana L, Uriarte E, Roleira F, Milhazes N, Borges F: Furocoumarins in medicinal chemistry. Synthesis, natural occurrence and biological activity. Curr Med Chem. 2004 Dec;11(24):3239-61. [15579011 ]
  6. Yannai, Shmuel. (2004) Dictionary of food compounds with CD-ROM: Additives, flavors, and ingredients. Boca Raton: Chapman & Hall/CRC.
  7. Herboreal Ltd - Manufacturer of rare phytochemicals (2009). [Link]
  8. International Agency for Research on Cancer (2014). IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans. [Link]
  9. DFG Senate Commission on Food Safety (SKLM): Toxicological Assessment of Furocoumarins in Foodstuffs (2006) [Link]
Gene Regulation
Up-Regulated GenesNot Available
Down-Regulated GenesNot Available


1. DNA
General Function:
Used for biological information storage.
Specific Function:
DNA contains the instructions needed for an organism to develop, survive and reproduce.
Molecular Weight:
2.15 x 1012 Da
  1. Gupta M, Ali R: Fluorescence studies on the interaction of furocoumarins with DNA in the dark. J Biochem. 1984 May;95(5):1253-7. [6746605 ]
  2. Palumbo M, Capasso L, Palu G, Marciani Magno S: DNA-binding of water-soluble furocoumarins: a thermodynamic and conformational approach to understanding different biological effects. Nucleic Acids Res. 1984 Nov 26;12(22):8567-78. [6504703 ]
  3. Herboreal Ltd - Manufacturer of rare phytochemicals (2009). [Link]
General Function:
Steroid hydroxylase activity
Specific Function:
Cytochromes P450 are a group of heme-thiolate monooxygenases. In liver microsomes, this enzyme is involved in an NADPH-dependent electron transport pathway. It oxidizes a variety of structurally unrelated compounds, including steroids, fatty acids, and xenobiotics. This enzyme contributes to the wide pharmacokinetics variability of the metabolism of drugs such as S-warfarin, diclofenac, phenytoin, tolbutamide and losartan.
Gene Name:
Uniprot ID:
Molecular Weight:
55627.365 Da
  1. Girennavar B, Jayaprakasha GK, Patil BS: Potent inhibition of human cytochrome P450 3A4, 2D6, and 2C9 isoenzymes by grapefruit juice and its furocoumarins. J Food Sci. 2007 Oct;72(8):C417-21. [17995595 ]
General Function:
Vitamin d3 25-hydroxylase activity
Specific Function:
Cytochromes P450 are a group of heme-thiolate monooxygenases. In liver microsomes, this enzyme is involved in an NADPH-dependent electron transport pathway. It performs a variety of oxidation reactions (e.g. caffeine 8-oxidation, omeprazole sulphoxidation, midazolam 1'-hydroxylation and midazolam 4-hydroxylation) of structurally unrelated compounds, including steroids, fatty acids, and xenobiotics. Acts as a 1,8-cineole 2-exo-monooxygenase. The enzyme also hydroxylates etoposide (PubMed:11159812). Catalyzes 4-beta-hydroxylation of cholesterol. May catalyze 25-hydroxylation of cholesterol in vitro (PubMed:21576599).
Gene Name:
Uniprot ID:
Molecular Weight:
57342.67 Da
  1. Girennavar B, Jayaprakasha GK, Patil BS: Potent inhibition of human cytochrome P450 3A4, 2D6, and 2C9 isoenzymes by grapefruit juice and its furocoumarins. J Food Sci. 2007 Oct;72(8):C417-21. [17995595 ]
General Function:
Transcriptional repressor activity, rna polymerase ii transcription regulatory region sequence-specific binding
Specific Function:
NF-kappa-B is a pleiotropic transcription factor present in almost all cell types and is the endpoint of a series of signal transduction events that are initiated by a vast array of stimuli related to many biological processes such as inflammation, immunity, differentiation, cell growth, tumorigenesis and apoptosis. NF-kappa-B is a homo- or heterodimeric complex formed by the Rel-like domain-containing proteins RELA/p65, RELB, NFKB1/p105, NFKB1/p50, REL and NFKB2/p52 and the heterodimeric p65-p50 complex appears to be most abundant one. The dimers bind at kappa-B sites in the DNA of their target genes and the individual dimers have distinct preferences for different kappa-B sites that they can bind with distinguishable affinity and specificity. Different dimer combinations act as transcriptional activators or repressors, respectively. NF-kappa-B is controlled by various mechanisms of post-translational modification and subcellular compartmentalization as well as by interactions with other cofactors or corepressors. NF-kappa-B complexes are held in the cytoplasm in an inactive state complexed with members of the NF-kappa-B inhibitor (I-kappa-B) family. In a conventional activation pathway, I-kappa-B is phosphorylated by I-kappa-B kinases (IKKs) in response to different activators, subsequently degraded thus liberating the active NF-kappa-B complex which translocates to the nucleus. NF-kappa-B heterodimeric p65-p50 and RelB-p50 complexes are transcriptional activators. The NF-kappa-B p50-p50 homodimer is a transcriptional repressor, but can act as a transcriptional activator when associated with BCL3. NFKB1 appears to have dual functions such as cytoplasmic retention of attached NF-kappa-B proteins by p105 and generation of p50 by a cotranslational processing. The proteasome-mediated process ensures the production of both p50 and p105 and preserves their independent function, although processing of NFKB1/p105 also appears to occur post-translationally. p50 binds to the kappa-B consensus sequence 5'-GGRNNYYCC-3', located in the enhancer region of genes involved in immune response and acute phase reactions. In a complex with MAP3K8, NFKB1/p105 represses MAP3K8-induced MAPK signaling; active MAP3K8 is released by proteasome-dependent degradation of NFKB1/p105.
Gene Name:
Uniprot ID:
Molecular Weight:
105355.175 Da
Binding/Activity Constants
TypeValueAssay TypeAssay Source
IC503 uMNot AvailableBindingDB 50331544
  1. Piccagli L, Borgatti M, Nicolis E, Bianchi N, Mancini I, Lampronti I, Vevaldi D, Dall'Acqua F, Cabrini G, Gambari R: Virtual screening against nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB) of a focus library: Identification of bioactive furocoumarin derivatives inhibiting NF-kappaB dependent biological functions involved in cystic fibrosis. Bioorg Med Chem. 2010 Dec 1;18(23):8341-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2010.09.063. Epub 2010 Oct 1. [20980154 ]