Imperatorin is a furocoumarin and a phytochemical that has been isolated from Urena lobata L. (Malvaceae), Angelica archangelica, Angelica dahurica, Glehnia littoralis, Saposhnikovia divaricata, Cnidium monnieri, Incarvillea younghusbandii, and Zanthoxylum americanum mill. It is biosynthesized from umbelliferone, a coumarin derivative.
Imperatorin is a member of the class of psoralens that is psoralen substituted by a prenyloxy group at position 8. Isolated from Angelica dahurica and Angelica koreana, it acts as a acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. It has a role as an EC 18.104.22.168 (acetylcholinesterase) inhibitor and a metabolite.
Imperatorin is a furocoumarin present in citrus fruits, which is used in HIV-1 research. Studies indicate that the transcription factor Sp1 is essential in the inhibitory functions of Imperatorin. In addition, Imperatorin inhibits cyclin D1 expression and stops the cell cycle at G1. These studies also suggest that Imperatorin suppresses HIV-1 replication in primary T lymphocytes and transformed cell lines. Furthermore, it has been suggested that the inhibitory effects of Imperatorin on HIV-1 at the transcriptional level can be monitored effectively in HeLa cells. Imperatorin can also cause apoptosis in human promyelocytic leukaemia, HL-60 via the cytochrome c/caspase-9 pathway.