Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Secret Revealed

Abstract:
The crystal structure of ribose—finally!

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 â-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: á- and â-furanoses as well as á- and the dominant â-pyranose. Pyranoses are a form of sugar in which the five carbon atoms and an oxygen atom form a six-membered ring. The prefix á or â 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 â- and á-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-Ribose—At 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

Three-dimensional graphene: Experiment at BESSY II shows that optical properties are tuneable May 24th, 2017

Leti to Demo 1st Wireless UNB Transceiver for ‘Massive Internet of Things’ at RFIC 2017 and IMS 2017: Leti Will also Present Three Papers & Two Workshops on 5G Communications IC Design, from RF to mm-Wave, During IMS 2017 and RFIC 2017 in Hawaii May 24th, 2017

GLOBALFOUNDRIES and Chengdu Partner to Expand FD-SOI Ecosystem in China: More than $100M investment to establish a center of excellence for FDXTM FD-SOI design May 23rd, 2017

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria: Rice, Ben-Gurion universities show laser-induced graphene kills bacteria, resists biofouling May 22nd, 2017

Chemistry

Stanford scientists use nanotechnology to boost the performance of key industrial catalyst May 18th, 2017

Sandia develops math techniques to improve computational efficiency in quantum chemistry May 5th, 2017

Metal nanoparticles induced visible-light photocatalysis: Mechanisms, applications, ways of promoting catalytic activity and outlook April 27th, 2017

Shedding light on the absorption of light by titanium dioxide April 14th, 2017

Academic/Education

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

Bar-Ilan University to set up quantum research center May 1st, 2017

California Research Alliance by BASF establishes more than 25 research projects in three years April 26th, 2017

SUNY Polytechnic Institute Announces Total of 172 Teams Selected to Compete in Solar in Your Community Challenge: Teams from 40 states, plus Washington, DC, 2 Territories, and 4 American Indian Reservations, Will Deploy Solar in Underserved Communities April 20th, 2017

Discoveries

Three-dimensional graphene: Experiment at BESSY II shows that optical properties are tuneable May 24th, 2017

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria: Rice, Ben-Gurion universities show laser-induced graphene kills bacteria, resists biofouling May 22nd, 2017

Sensors detect disease markers in breath May 19th, 2017

Graphene-nanotube hybrid boosts lithium metal batteries: Rice University prototypes store 3 times the energy of lithium-ion batteries May 19th, 2017

Announcements

Three-dimensional graphene: Experiment at BESSY II shows that optical properties are tuneable May 24th, 2017

Leti to Demo 1st Wireless UNB Transceiver for ‘Massive Internet of Things’ at RFIC 2017 and IMS 2017: Leti Will also Present Three Papers & Two Workshops on 5G Communications IC Design, from RF to mm-Wave, During IMS 2017 and RFIC 2017 in Hawaii May 24th, 2017

GLOBALFOUNDRIES and Chengdu Partner to Expand FD-SOI Ecosystem in China: More than $100M investment to establish a center of excellence for FDXTM FD-SOI design May 23rd, 2017

Zap! Graphene is bad news for bacteria: Rice, Ben-Gurion universities show laser-induced graphene kills bacteria, resists biofouling May 22nd, 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