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Furanocoumarins, or furocoumarins, are a class of organic chemical compounds produced by a variety of plants. They are biosynthesized through either the phenylpropanoid pathway or the mevalonate pathway.
The chemical structure of furanocoumarins consists of a furan ring fused with coumarin. The furan may be fused in different ways producing several isomers. The compounds that form the core structure of the two most common isomers are psoralen and angelicin. Derivatives of these two core structures are referred to respectively as linear and angular furanocoumarins.
Many furanocoumarins are toxic and are produced by plants as a defense mechanism against various types of predators ranging from insects to mammals.
Furanocoumarins have other biological effects as well. For example, in humans, bergamottin and dihydroxybergamottin are responsible for the grapefruit juice effect, in which these furanocoumarins affect the metabolism of certain pharmaceutical drugs.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Furanocoumarin". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|