Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Secret Revealed

Abstract:
The crystal structure of riboseófinally!

Secret Revealed

Weinheim, Germany | Posted on July 8th, 2010

D-Ribose is just a small molecule - but an extremely important one for us life forms. It is astounding that the crystal structure of ribose is not included among the over 500,000 structures that have been solved. After all, ribose is a fundamental building block of ribosomes, the "protein factories" of cells. A Nobel Prize was awarded in 2009 for studies of the structure and function of ribosomes. In the journal Angewandte Chemie, the winners of this prize have just presented a first-hand report of their research. Also in Angewandte Chemie, a team of German and Swiss-based researchers has now presented another long-sought result: they have finally been able to solve the crystal structure of ribose.

Ribose belongs in the chemical class of sugars. Its backbone is a chain of five carbon atoms; four of them carry an OH group, the fifth an oxygen atom attached by a double bond. In most modern textbooks and handbooks, ribose is represented as a ‚-furanose: four of the carbon atoms and the oxygen atom form a five-membered ring. However, it has been known for over 40 years that in solution, ribose exists as a mixure of four different structures: Š- and ‚-furanoses as well as Š- and the dominant ‚-pyranose. Pyranoses are a form of sugar in which the five carbon atoms and an oxygen atom form a six-membered ring. The prefix Š or ‚ indicates whether a specific OH group lies above or below the plane of the ring.

But what form does crystalline ribose adopt? Whereas the structures of other important sugars have been known for a long time, ribose has been reluctant to reveal its secret; the compound is extremely difficult to crystallize. Despite such adverse conditions and countless failed attempts, the team led by Lynne B. McCusker, Beat H Meier, Roland Boese, and Jack D. Dunitz at the ETH Zurich (Switzerland) and the University of Duisburg-Essen have finally succeeded in cracking the structure. By using complex computer calculations, they were first able to obtain meaningful results from X-ray diffraction analyses of powder samples. They were then also able to produce single crystals by zone-melting recrystallization. In this technique, only a small zone of the material is heated and this melt zone is moved. The cooling melt then solidifies with a uniform crystal structure to form the desired single crystal. This can then be examined in by X-ray crystal-structure analysis. Solid-state NMR spectroscopic studies yielded further, complementary information about ribose.

Overall, the researchers came to the realization that D-ribose molecules crystallize as pyranoses, which are six-membered rings. These are present in two crystalline forms that contain ‚- and Š-pyranose in various proportions.

Author: Jack D. Dunitz, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich (Switzerland), www.loc.ethz.ch/people/emerit/dunitz

Title: The Crystal Structure of D-RiboseóAt Last!

Angewandte Chemie International Edition 2000, 39, No. 26, 4503-4505, Permalink to the article: dx.doi.org/10.1002/anie.201001266

####

For more information, please click here

Copyright © Angewandte Chemie

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Ultrathin device harvests electricity from human motion July 23rd, 2017

The July 23 close fly-by of asteroid 2017 BS5 is explored in a Q&A with Dr. John S. Lewis, chief scientist at Deep Space Industries July 23rd, 2017

Scientists announce the quest for high-index materials: All-dielectric nanophotonics: The quest for better materials and fabrication techniques July 22nd, 2017

Pulses of electrons manipulate nanomagnets and store information: Scientists use electron pulses to create and manipulate nanoscale magnetic excitations that can store data July 21st, 2017

Semiliquid chains pulled out of a sea of microparticles July 20th, 2017

Chemistry

Scientists announce the quest for high-index materials: All-dielectric nanophotonics: The quest for better materials and fabrication techniques July 22nd, 2017

Tokyo Institute of Technology research: Antiaromatic molecule displays record electrical conductance July 19th, 2017

Academic/Education

The Physics Department of Imperial College, London, uses the Quorum Q150T to deposit metals and ITO to make plasmonic sensors and electric contact pads July 13th, 2017

Oxford Instruments congratulates Lancaster University for inaugurating the IsoLab, built for studying quantum systems June 20th, 2017

The 2017 Winners for Generation Nano June 8th, 2017

MIT Energy Initiative awards 10 seed fund grants for early-stage energy research May 4th, 2017

Discoveries

Scientists announce the quest for high-index materials: All-dielectric nanophotonics: The quest for better materials and fabrication techniques July 22nd, 2017

Pulses of electrons manipulate nanomagnets and store information: Scientists use electron pulses to create and manipulate nanoscale magnetic excitations that can store data July 21st, 2017

The first light atomic nucleus with a second face July 20th, 2017

Semiliquid chains pulled out of a sea of microparticles July 20th, 2017

Announcements

Ultrathin device harvests electricity from human motion July 23rd, 2017

The July 23 close fly-by of asteroid 2017 BS5 is explored in a Q&A with Dr. John S. Lewis, chief scientist at Deep Space Industries July 23rd, 2017

Scientists announce the quest for high-index materials: All-dielectric nanophotonics: The quest for better materials and fabrication techniques July 22nd, 2017

Pulses of electrons manipulate nanomagnets and store information: Scientists use electron pulses to create and manipulate nanoscale magnetic excitations that can store data July 21st, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project