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IUPAC name
3D model (JSmol)
ECHA InfoCard 100.007.087
PubChem CID
Molar mass 150.221 g·mol−1
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Infobox references

Menthofuran is an organic compound found in a variety of essential oils including that of pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium). It is highly toxic and believed to be the primary toxin in pennyroyal responsible for its potentially fatal effects. [1] After ingestion of menthofuran, it is metabolically activated to chemically reactive intermediates that are hepatotoxic. [2]



Menthofuran is produced biosynthetically from pulegone by the enzyme menthofuran synthase.

Menthofuran synthase converts pulegone to menthofuran (+)-menthofuran synthase reaction.PNG
Menthofuran synthase converts pulegone to menthofuran


Menthofuran can be synthesized from 5-methylcyclohexane-1,3-dione and allenyldimethylsulfonium bromide in two steps via a furannulation strategy consisting of enolate addition and rearrangement. [3]

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  1. Anderson IB, Mullen WH, Meeker JE, Khojasteh-BakhtSC, Oishi S, Nelson SD, Blanc PD (April 1996). "Pennyroyal toxicity: measurement of toxic metabolite levels in two cases and review of the literature". Annals of Internal Medicine. 124 (8): 726–34. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-124-8-199604150-00004. PMID   8633832.
  2. Thomassen D, Knebel N, Slattery JT, McClanahan RH, Nelson SD (1992). "Reactive intermediates in the oxidation of menthofuran by cytochromes P-450". Chemical Research in Toxicology. 5 (1): 123–30. doi:10.1021/tx00025a021. PMID   1581528.
  3. Mariko Aso; Sakamoto, Mizue; Urakawa, Narumi; Kanematsu, Ken (1990). "Furannulation strategy. An efficient synthesis of fused 3-methylfurans". Heterocycles. 31 (6): 1003–6. doi:10.3987/com-90-5392.