Coumarin and Furanocoumarin Glycosides

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Chapter: Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry : Drugs Containing Glycosides

In these type of glycosides the aglycone is coumarin. Coumarin is a chemical compound found in many plants, notably in high concentration in the tonka bean, woodruff, and sweet grass. They are benzopyrone derivative have aromatic smell and their alcoholic solutions when made alkaline show blue or green fluorescence. The biosynthesis of coumarin in plants is via hydroxylation, glycolysis and cyclization of cinnamic acid.


COUMARIN AND FURANOCOUMARIN GLYCOSIDES

 

 

In these type of glycosides the aglycone is coumarin. Coumarin is a chemical compound found in many plants, notably in high concentration in the tonka bean, woodruff, and sweet grass. They are benzopyrone derivative have aromatic smell and their alcoholic solutions when made alkaline show blue or green fluorescence. The biosynthesis of coumarin in plants is via hydroxylation, glycolysis and cyclization of cinnamic acid.

 

It has clinical value as the precursor for several anticoagulants, notably warfarin. Some naturally occuring coumarin derivatives include umbelliferone (7-hydroxycoumarin), herniarin (7-methoxy-coumarin), psoralen and imperatorin. Coumarins have flavouring property but they cause damage to liver. Coumarin drugs also cause drug interactions with many other drugs. Medicinally, coumarin glycosides have been shown to have hemorrhagic, antifungicidal and antitumor activities.

 

Furanocoumarins are toxic compounds that consist of a coumarin nucleus bonded to a furan ring. Several plants contain the psoralens that are generally the precursors of furocoumarins. Furanoccumarins are found especially in Rutaceae, Umbelliferae and Leguminosae. They are also produced by some plants, for example, celery and parsnips, in response to fungal infestation.

 

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