Summary: A naturally occurring furocoumarin, found in PSORALEA. After photoactivation with UV radiation, it binds DNA via single and double-stranded cross-linking.

Top Publications

  1. Barre F, Asseline U, Harel Bellan A. Asymmetric recognition of psoralen interstrand crosslinks by the nucleotide excision repair and the error-prone repair pathways. J Mol Biol. 1999;286:1379-87 pubmed
  2. Vasquez K, Dagle J, Weeks D, Glazer P. Chromosome targeting at short polypurine sites by cationic triplex-forming oligonucleotides. J Biol Chem. 2001;276:38536-41 pubmed
  3. Zhang N, Kaur R, Lu X, Shen X, Li L, Legerski R. The Pso4 mRNA splicing and DNA repair complex interacts with WRN for processing of DNA interstrand cross-links. J Biol Chem. 2005;280:40559-67 pubmed
    ..In addition, we show that WRN and the Pso4 complex interact through a direct physical association between WRN and Cdc5L. A putative model for uncoupling of ICLs in mammalian cells is presented. ..
  4. Bessho T. Induction of DNA replication-mediated double strand breaks by psoralen DNA interstrand cross-links. J Biol Chem. 2003;278:5250-4 pubmed
    ..These results are the first biochemical evidence of the generation of double strand breaks by DNA replication. ..
  5. Ozkan I, Kose O, Ozmen I, Arca E. Efficacy and safety of non-laser, targeted UVB phototherapy alone and in combination with psoralen gel or calcipotriol ointment in the treatment of localized, chronic, plaque-type psoriasis. Int J Dermatol. 2012;51:609-13 pubmed publisher
    ..The addition of calcipotriol ointment in targeted phototherapy enhances the therapeutic effects of phototherapy in the treatment of plaque-type psoriasis. ..
  6. Wen Z, Pan L, Berenbaum M, Schuler M. Metabolism of linear and angular furanocoumarins by Papilio polyxenes CYP6B1 co-expressed with NADPH cytochrome P450 reductase. Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 2003;33:937-47 pubmed
    ..polyxenes' early colonization of linear furanocoumarin-containing plants and to its subsequent colonization of angular furanocoumarin-containing plants. ..
  7. Cheng W, Kusumoto R, Opresko P, Sui X, Huang S, Nicolette M, et al. Collaboration of Werner syndrome protein and BRCA1 in cellular responses to DNA interstrand cross-links. Nucleic Acids Res. 2006;34:2751-60 pubmed
    ..These findings suggest that WRN and BRCA1 act in a coordinated manner to facilitate repair of DNA ICLs. ..
  8. Liu Y, Nairn R, Vasquez K. Processing of triplex-directed psoralen DNA interstrand crosslinks by recombination mechanisms. Nucleic Acids Res. 2008;36:4680-8 pubmed publisher
    ..Our analyses indicated that SSA is the predominant mechanism of ICL processing of these substrates in mammalian cells. ..
  9. Fisher L, Bessho M, Bessho T. Processing of a psoralen DNA interstrand cross-link by XPF-ERCC1 complex in vitro. J Biol Chem. 2008;283:1275-81 pubmed
    ..These results implicate the XPF-ERCC1 complex in initiating ICL repair by unhooking the ICL, which simultaneously induces a double strand break at a stalled fork. ..

More Information


  1. Wu Q, Vasquez K. Human MLH1 protein participates in genomic damage checkpoint signaling in response to DNA interstrand crosslinks, while MSH2 functions in DNA repair. PLoS Genet. 2008;4:e1000189 pubmed publisher
    ..Distinguishing the genetic status of MMR-deficient tumors as MSH2-deficient or MLH1-deficient is thus potentially important in predicting the efficacy of treatment with psoralen and perhaps with other ICL-inducing agents. ..
  2. Eichman B, Mooers B, Alberti M, Hearst J, Ho P. The crystal structures of psoralen cross-linked DNAs: drug-dependent formation of Holliday junctions. J Mol Biol. 2001;308:15-26 pubmed
    ..The two structures contrast the effects of drug- and sequence-dependent interactions on the structure of a Holliday junction, suggesting a role for psoralen in the mechanism to initiate repair of psoralen-lesions in mammalian DNA. ..
  3. Guillonneau F, Guieysse A, Nocentini S, Giovannangeli C, Praseuth D. Psoralen interstrand cross-link repair is specifically altered by an adjacent triple-stranded structure. Nucleic Acids Res. 2004;32:1143-53 pubmed
    ..These data characterize triplex-induced modulation of ICL repair pathways at specific steps, which might have implications for the controlled induction of targeted genomic modifications and for the associated cellular responses. ..
  4. Wu Q, Christensen L, Legerski R, Vasquez K. Mismatch repair participates in error-free processing of DNA interstrand crosslinks in human cells. EMBO Rep. 2005;6:551-7 pubmed
    ..Thus, enhancement of MMR relative to NER may reduce the mutagenesis caused by DNA ICLs in humans. ..
  5. Reardon J, Sancar A. Molecular anatomy of the human excision nuclease assembled at sites of DNA damage. Mol Cell Biol. 2002;22:5938-45 pubmed
    ..Based on these results, we propose that RPA70 makes the initial contact with psoralen-damaged DNA but that within preincision complexes, it is RPA32 and XPD that are in close contact with the lesion. ..
  6. Kim K, Fan X, Nielsen P. Efficient sequence-directed psoralen targeting using pseudocomplementary Peptide nucleic acids. Bioconjug Chem. 2007;18:567-72 pubmed
    ..Thus, such psoralen-PNA conjugates could be very useful in a range of biology and drug discovery applications. ..
  7. Matsumoto K, Hirose S. Visualization of unconstrained negative supercoils of DNA on polytene chromosomes of Drosophila. J Cell Sci. 2004;117:3797-805 pubmed
    ..These data show that transcription-coupled, unconstrained negative supercoils of DNA exist in approximately 150 loci within the interphase genome. ..
  8. Vasquez K, Christensen J, Li L, Finch R, Glazer P. Human XPA and RPA DNA repair proteins participate in specific recognition of triplex-induced helical distortions. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002;99:5848-53 pubmed
    ..Addition of XPA decreases the nonspecific DNA aggregate formation. These results support the hypothesis that the NER machinery is targeted to helical distortions and demonstrate that RPA can recognize damaged DNA even without XPA. ..
  9. Cipak L, Watanabe N, Bessho T. The role of BRCA2 in replication-coupled DNA interstrand cross-link repair in vitro. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2006;13:729-33 pubmed
    ..We also show that nucleotide excision repair is essential for the removal of the lesion left behind on one strand after unhooking. This study provides new mechanistic insights into the repair of ICLs in human cells. ..
  10. Cardone J, Revers L, Machado R, Bonatto D, Brendel M, Henriques J. Psoralen-sensitive mutant pso9-1 of Saccharomyces cerevisiae contains a mutant allele of the DNA damage checkpoint gene MEC3. DNA Repair (Amst). 2006;5:163-71 pubmed
    ..Taken together, these observations allowed us to propose a model for checkpoint activation generated by photo-induced adducts. ..
  11. Grillari J, Katinger H, Voglauer R. Contributions of DNA interstrand cross-links to aging of cells and organisms. Nucleic Acids Res. 2007;35:7566-76 pubmed
    ..However, since ICL-inducing drugs cause damage different from ICL and since all currently known ICL repair factors work in more than one pathway, further work will be needed to dissect the actual contribution of ICL damage to aging. ..
  12. Diviacco S, Rapozzi V, Xodo L, Helene C, Quadrifoglio F, Giovannangeli C. Site-directed inhibition of DNA replication by triple helix formation. FASEB J. 2001;15:2660-8 pubmed
    ..These results open new perspectives for future design and use of specific inhibitors of intracellular DNA information processing. ..
  13. Saffran W, Ahmed S, Bellevue S, Pereira G, Patrick T, Sanchez W, et al. DNA repair defects channel interstrand DNA cross-links into alternate recombinational and error-prone repair pathways. J Biol Chem. 2004;279:36462-9 pubmed
    ..Our observations suggest that psoralen cross-links can be repaired by three pathways: an error-free recombinational pathway requiring NER and HR and two PRR-dependent error-prone pathways, one NER-dependent and one NER-independent. ..
  14. Joerges C, Kuntze I, Herzinger T, Herzinge T. Induction of a caffeine-sensitive S-phase cell cycle checkpoint by psoralen plus ultraviolet A radiation. Oncogene. 2003;22:6119-28 pubmed
    ..Overexpression of Cdc25A only partially overrode the S-phase arrest, suggesting that additional signaling events implement PUVA-induced S-phase arrest. ..
  15. Kim K, Nielsen P, Glazer P. Site-specific gene modification by PNAs conjugated to psoralen. Biochemistry. 2006;45:314-23 pubmed
  16. Zhang N, Lu X, Zhang X, Peterson C, Legerski R. hMutSbeta is required for the recognition and uncoupling of psoralen interstrand cross-links in vitro. Mol Cell Biol. 2002;22:2388-97 pubmed
    ..Thus, a novel pathway for processing ICLs has been identified in mammalian cells which involves components of the mismatch repair and nucleotide excision repair pathways. ..
  17. Tang D, Yang F, Yang Z, Huang J, Shi Q, Chen D, et al. Psoralen stimulates osteoblast differentiation through activation of BMP signaling. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2011;405:256-61 pubmed publisher
  18. Caffieri S, Di Lisa F, Bolesani F, Facco M, Semenzato G, Dall Acqua F, et al. The mitochondrial effects of novel apoptogenic molecules generated by psoralen photolysis as a crucial mechanism in PUVA therapy. Blood. 2007;109:4988-94 pubmed
    ..Along with identifying novel apoptogenic molecules, the present results indicate that POP generation directs transformed cells to apoptosis. ..
  19. Thoma B, Wakasugi M, Christensen J, Reddy M, Vasquez K. Human XPC-hHR23B interacts with XPA-RPA in the recognition of triplex-directed psoralen DNA interstrand crosslinks. Nucleic Acids Res. 2005;33:2993-3001 pubmed
  20. Yang Z, Huang J, Liu S, Zhao Y, Shen Z, Wang Y, et al. The osteoprotective effect of psoralen in ovariectomy-induced osteoporotic rats via stimulating the osteoblastic differentiation from bone mesenchymal stem cells. Menopause. 2012;19:1156-64 pubmed
    ..Our findings show that PSO promotes bone mass in OVX-induced osteoporotic rats. This effect of PSO is highly related to the stimulation of differentiation of bMSCs to osteoblasts. ..
  21. Christensen L, Conti C, Fischer S, Vasquez K. Mutation frequencies in murine keratinocytes as a function of carcinogenic status. Mol Carcinog. 2004;40:122-33 pubmed
    ..These data suggested that a strong mutator phenotype was not required for progression to an advanced malignant phenotype in our model system. ..
  22. Ma W, Wlaschek M, Hommel C, Schneider L, Scharffetter Kochanek K. Psoralen plus UVA (PUVA) induced premature senescence as a model for stress-induced premature senescence. Exp Gerontol. 2002;37:1197-201 pubmed
    ..Additionally, we will discuss the possible in vivo relevance of PUVA-SIPS fibroblasts in PUVA-treated patients. ..
  23. Fierro Fernández M, Hernandez P, Krimer D, Schvartzman J. Replication fork reversal occurs spontaneously after digestion but is constrained in supercoiled domains. J Biol Chem. 2007;282:18190-6 pubmed
  24. Stern R. Psoralen and ultraviolet a light therapy for psoriasis. N Engl J Med. 2007;357:682-90 pubmed
  25. Pielop J, Hsu S. Tiny, skin-colored papules on the arms and hands. Am Fam Physician. 2005;71:343-4 pubmed
  26. Dummer R, Foss F, Dreno B, Bagot M. Clinical experience: practical management of five patients with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL)-related symptoms. Semin Oncol. 2006;33:S26-32 pubmed
    ..This article provides details of five real-life case studies to illustrate how cutaneous T-cell lymphoma management can be tailored to the needs of each individual patient. ..
  27. Ali S, Mahmooduzzafar -, Abdin M, Iqbal M. Ontogenetic changes in foliar features and psoralen content of Psoralea corylifolia Linn. exposed to SO2 stress. J Environ Biol. 2008;29:661-8 pubmed
    ..70%) and leaves (56.27%). In the roots and shoots of the treated plants, it was low in pre-flowering stage, compared with the control, but showed a recovery during the post-flowering phase of plant growth. ..
  28. Ouyang L, Wu H, Nie J, Zhang Y, Zou H, Fu H, et al. Simultaneous determination of psoralen and isopsoralen in plasma and Chinese medicine Xian Ling Gu Bao capsule by using HPLC-DAD coupled with alternating trilinear decomposition algorithm. Anal Chim Acta. 2009;650:160-6 pubmed publisher
    ..The satisfactory quantification results have been gained with simple mobile phase. In the analysis of real Chinese medicine samples, the accuracy of the concentrations which were obtained by ATLD was also validated by HPLC-MS method. ..
  29. Kumar D, Mishra B, Chandra Shekar K, Kumar A, Akamatsu K, Kurihara R, et al. Novel porphyrin-psoralen conjugates: synthesis, DNA interaction and cytotoxicity studies. Org Biomol Chem. 2013;11:6675-9 pubmed publisher
    ..A Cu(i)-catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition reaction (CuAAC) has been utilized to prepare novel triazole-linked cationic porphyrin-psoralen conjugates that exhibited significant photocytotoxicity against A549 cancer cells (IC50 = 84 nM). ..
  30. Dawe R, Cameron H, Yule S, Man I, Wainwright N, Ibbotson S, et al. A randomized controlled trial of narrowband ultraviolet B vs bath-psoralen plus ultraviolet A photochemotherapy for psoriasis. Br J Dermatol. 2003;148:1194-204 pubmed
    ..03). Remission durations did not differ. When administered according to these regimens in a skin phototype I-III population, TL-01 UVB is more efficacious than TMP bath-PUVA in the treatment of chronic plaque psoriasis. ..
  31. Hüsken A, Tsianakas A, Hensen P, Nashan D, Loquai C, Beissert S, et al. Comparison of pegylated interferon ?-2b plus psoralen PUVA versus standard interferon ?-2a plus PUVA in patients with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2012;26:71-8 pubmed publisher
    ..Due to the small number of participants at this retrospective study, a larger prospective study is essential to verify our results. ..
  32. Devor D, Singh A, Bridges R, Frizzell R. Psoralens: novel modulators of Cl- secretion. Am J Physiol. 1997;272:C976-88 pubmed
    ..On the basis of these observations, we conclude that psoralens represent a novel class of Cl- channel openers that can be used to probe mechanisms underlying Ca2+-mediated Cl- secretion. ..
  33. Leanza L, Henry B, Sassi N, Zoratti M, Chandy K, Gulbins E, et al. Inhibitors of mitochondrial Kv1.3 channels induce Bax/Bak-independent death of cancer cells. EMBO Mol Med. 2012;4:577-93 pubmed publisher
    ..The study indicates that inhibition of mitochondrial Kv1.3 might be a novel therapeutic option for the induction of cancer cell death independent of Bax and Bak. ..
  34. Zhang D, Huang S, Chen N, Xiang Y, Yang P, Zhao J. [Growth-inhibiting effect of psoralen plus ultraviolet-A light therapy on K562 cells]. Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao. 2005;3:480-3 pubmed
    ..It is suggested that 10 min irradiation and 40 microg/ml terminal concentration of psoralen be probably the best choice for PUVA. The inhibiting effect of PUVA is due to apoptosis. ..
  35. Garazd M, Garazd I, Ogorodniĭchuk A, Khilia V. [Synthesis of modified psoralen analogues]. Bioorg Khim. 2004;30:324-33 pubmed
    ..The English version of the paper: Russian Journal of Bioorganic Chemistry, 2004, vol. 30, no. 3; see also ..
  36. Vos J, Wauthier E. Differential introduction of DNA damage and repair in mammalian genes transcribed by RNA polymerases I and II. Mol Cell Biol. 1991;11:2245-52 pubmed
    ..We conclude that the repair of chemical damage such as psoralen photoadducts in an expressed mammalian gene may depend upon the class of transcription to which it belongs. ..
  37. Du H, Rosbash M. The U1 snRNP protein U1C recognizes the 5' splice site in the absence of base pairing. Nature. 2002;419:86-90 pubmed
    ..We propose that a U1C 5'-splice-site interaction precedes pre-mRNA/U1 snRNA base pairing and is the earliest step in the splicing pathway. ..
  38. Xu R, Cao M, Wu X, Wang X, Ruan L, Quan X, et al. Kv1.3 channels as a potential target for immunomodulation of CD4+ CD28null T cells in patients with acute coronary syndrome. Clin Immunol. 2012;142:209-17 pubmed publisher
    ..3 blocker 5-(4-phenoxybutoxy)psoralen PAP-1. Therefore, selective targeting of Kv1.3 in CD4(+)CD28null T cells may hold potential therapeutic promise for ACS. ..
  39. Fierro Fernández M, Hernandez P, Krimer D, Stasiak A, Schvartzman J. Topological locking restrains replication fork reversal. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007;104:1500-5 pubmed
    ..We propose that this topological locking of replication intermediates provides a biological safety mechanism that protects DNA molecules against extensive fork reversals. ..
  40. Stokely M, Garg P, Bhat M, Koulen P. Transient 5-(4-phenylbutoxy)psoralen (PAP-1) treatment dissociates developing pathologies in autoimmune optic neuritis into two distinct pathology profiles. J Neurosci Res. 2008;86:2111-24 pubmed publisher
  41. Diffey B. The contribution of medical physics to the development of psoralen photochemotherapy (PUVA) in the UK: a personal reminiscence. Phys Med Biol. 2006;51:R229-44 pubmed
  42. Li Y, Duan J, Guo T, Xie W, Yan S, Li B, et al. In vivo pharmacokinetics comparisons of icariin, emodin and psoralen from gan-kang granules and extracts of herba Epimedii, Nepal dock root, Ficus hirta yahl. J Ethnopharmacol. 2009;124:522-9 pubmed publisher
    ..Some ingredients in GKG may increase the dissolution and absorption, and improve bioavailability of icariin, emodin and psoralen in rats. ..
  43. Hyodo T, Oda T, Kikuchi Y, Higashi K, Kushiyama T, Yamamoto K, et al. Voltage-gated potassium channel Kv1.3 blocker as a potential treatment for rat anti-glomerular basement membrane glomerulonephritis. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2010;299:F1258-69 pubmed publisher
    ..These results suggest that T(EM) and some macrophages expressing Kv1.3 channels play a critical role in the pathogenesis of crescentic GN and that Psora-4 will be useful for the treatment of rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis. ..
  44. Evison B, Actis M, Fujii N. A clickable psoralen to directly quantify DNA interstrand crosslinking and repair. Bioorg Med Chem. 2016;24:1071-8 pubmed publisher
    ..The post-labeling strategy applied in this study is inexpensive, rapid and highly modular in nature with the potential for multiple applications in DNA repair studies. ..
  45. Da Silva V, Kawano D, Carvalho I, da Conceição E, de Freitas O, da Silva C. Psoralen and bergapten: in silico metabolism and toxicophoric analysis of drugs used to treat vitiligo. J Pharm Pharm Sci. 2009;12:378-87 pubmed
  46. Maves R, Castillo Oré R, Porter K, Kochel T. Immunogenicity of a psoralen-inactivated dengue virus type 1 vaccine candidate in mice. Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2010;17:304-6 pubmed publisher
    ..Mice received intradermal alum or 5 to 10 ng of psoralen-inactivated virus. Anti-DENV-1 neutralizing antibody was detectable in 10/11 mice receiving a 10-ng dose at 90 days. Psoralen-inactivated DENV-1 is immunogenic in mice. ..
  47. Zhang H, Zhu J, Qi S, Chen X, Hu Z. Separation and determination of psoralen and isopsoralen by microemulsion electrokinetic chromatography. Biomed Chromatogr. 2007;21:1083-7 pubmed
    ..Furthermore, a simple and effective extraction method, with methanol in an ultrasonic water bath for 20 min three times, was used for sample preparation...
  48. Tosti A, Bellavista S, Iorizzo M. Alopecia areata: a long term follow-up study of 191 patients. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2006;55:438-41 pubmed
    ..Response to therapy (topical immunotherapy) may be associated with better prognosis. In children, the prognosis is worse; our study found that AA worsens over time. ..
  49. Heneka B, Rimpler H, Ankli A, Sticher O, Gibbons S, Heinrich M. A furanocoumarin and polymethoxylated flavonoids from the Yucatec Mayan plant Casimiroa tetrameria. Phytochemistry. 2005;66:649-52 pubmed
  50. Serrano Pérez J, Serrano Andrés L, Merchan M. A theoretical insight into the photophysics of psoralen. J Chem Phys. 2006;124:124502 pubmed
  51. Agarwal U, Gulati R, Shukla S, Mathur N. Satellite repigmentation after punch grafting. Int J Dermatol. 2004;43:273-4 pubmed
    ..To the best of our knowledge, no other report documenting SR after punch grafting exists in the medical literature. We report the observations of these four patients. ..
  52. Neelsen K, Chaudhuri A, Follonier C, Herrador R, Lopes M. Visualization and interpretation of eukaryotic DNA replication intermediates in vivo by electron microscopy. Methods Mol Biol. 2014;1094:177-208 pubmed publisher
    ..This chapter outlines the procedures required to visualize and interpret in vivo replication intermediates of genomic DNA, extracted from budding yeast, Xenopus egg extracts, or cultured mammalian cells. ..
  53. Bisaccia E, Palangio M, Gonzalez J, Adler K, Rowley S, Goldberg S. Treating refractory chronic graft-versus-host disease with extracorporeal photochemotherapy. Bone Marrow Transplant. 2003;31:291-4 pubmed
    ..ECP was well tolerated. Our results support those of previous studies, suggesting that ECP may be beneficial in patients with refractory cGvHD. ..