AskDefine | Define pentose

Dictionary Definition

pentose n : any monosaccharide sugar containing five atoms of carbon per molecule

User Contributed Dictionary



From penta meaning "five" and -ose meaning "sugar".


  1. A sugar or saccharide containing five carbon atoms.
    Ribose, found in RNA, is a common pentose


a saccharide containing five carbon atoms



  1. pentose.

Extensive Definition

A pentose is a monosaccharide with five carbon atoms.
They either have an aldehyde functional group in position 1 (aldopentoses), or a ketone functional group in position 2 (ketopentoses).
The aldopentoses have three chiral centres ("asymmetric carbon atoms") and so 8 different stereoisomers are possible.
The 4 D-aldopentoses are:
CH=O CH=O CH=O CH=O | | | | HC-OH HO-CH HC-OH HO-CH | | | | HC-OH HC-OH HO-CH HO-CH | | | | HC-OH HC-OH HC-OH HC-OH | | | | CH2OH CH2OH CH2OH CH2OH D-Ribose D-Arabinose D-Xylose D-Lyxose
A mnemonic suggested that can be used to remember the four D-aldopentoses is "ribs are extra lean."
The ketopentoses have 2 chiral centres and therefore 4 possible stereoisomers — ribulose (L- and D-form) and xylulose (L- and D-form).
The D-isomers of both are known to occur naturally as is the L-isomer of xylulose: CH2OH CH2OH | | C=O C=O | | HC-OH HO-CH | | HC-OH HC-OH | | CH2OH CH2OH D-Ribulose D-Xylulose
The aldehyde and ketone functional groups in these carbohydrates react with neighbouring hydroxyl functional groups to form intramolecular hemiacetals or hemiketals, respectively. The resulting ring structure is related to furan, and is termed a furanose. The ring spontaneously opens and closes, allowing rotation to occur about the bond between the carbonyl group and the neighbouring carbon atom — yielding two distinct configurations (α and β). This process is termed mutarotation.
Ribose is a constituent of RNA, and the related deoxyribose of DNA.

See also

pentose in Arabic: بنتوز
pentose in Czech: Pentosa
pentose in Welsh: Pentos
pentose in Danish: Pentose
pentose in German: Pentosen
pentose in Spanish: Pentosa
pentose in Esperanto: Pentozo
pentose in French: Pentose
pentose in Indonesian: Pentosa
pentose in Italian: Pentosi
pentose in Macedonian: Пентоза
pentose in Dutch: Pentose
pentose in Occitan (post 1500): Pentòsa
pentose in Polish: Pentozy
pentose in Portuguese: Pentose
pentose in Russian: Пентозы
pentose in Serbian: Пентоза
pentose in Serbo-Croatian: Pentoza
pentose in Sundanese: Péntosa
pentose in Finnish: Pentoosi
pentose in Swedish: Pentoser
pentose in Ukrainian: Пентоза
pentose in Chinese: 戊糖
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