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

Two-dimensional melting of hard spheres experimentally unravelled after 60 years: First definitive experimental evidence of two-dimensional melting of hard spheres April 21st, 2017

National Conference on Nanomaterials, (NCN-2017) April 21st, 2017

NanoMONITOR shares its latest developments concerning the NanoMONITOR Software and the Monitoring stations April 21st, 2017

Nanomechanics, Inc. Unveils New Product at ICMCTF Show April 25th: Nanoindentation experts will launch the new Gemini that measures the interaction of two objects that are sliding across each other – not merely making contact April 21st, 2017

Chemistry

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

Researchers uncover secret of nanomaterial that makes harvesting sunlight easier March 29th, 2017

Promising results obtained with a new electrocatalyst that reduces the need for platinum: Researchers from Aalto University have succeeded in manufacturing electrocatalysts used for storing electric energy with one-hundredth of the amount of platinum that is usually needed March 24th, 2017

Researchers develop groundbreaking process for creating ultra-selective separation membranes: Discovery could greatly improve energy-efficiency of separation and purification processes in the chemical and petrochemical industries March 15th, 2017

Academic/Education

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

Rice crew revved for Nanocar Race: Nanocar creator James Tour and team take on international competition with single-molecule marvel April 20th, 2017

The Catholic University of Rome uses the JPK NanoWizard® AFM & CellHesion® systems to understand how cells sense and respond to mechanical stimuli April 5th, 2017

AIM Photonics Welcomes Coventor as Newest Member: US-Backed Initiative Taps Process Modeling Specialist to Enable Manufacturing of High-Yield, High-Performance Integrated Photonic Designs March 16th, 2017

Discoveries

Two-dimensional melting of hard spheres experimentally unravelled after 60 years: First definitive experimental evidence of two-dimensional melting of hard spheres April 21st, 2017

Wood filter removes toxic dye from water April 21st, 2017

Rice crew revved for Nanocar Race: Nanocar creator James Tour and team take on international competition with single-molecule marvel April 20th, 2017

Better living through pressure: Functional nanomaterials made easy April 19th, 2017

Announcements

Two-dimensional melting of hard spheres experimentally unravelled after 60 years: First definitive experimental evidence of two-dimensional melting of hard spheres April 21st, 2017

National Conference on Nanomaterials, (NCN-2017) April 21st, 2017

NanoMONITOR shares its latest developments concerning the NanoMONITOR Software and the Monitoring stations April 21st, 2017

Nanomechanics, Inc. Unveils New Product at ICMCTF Show April 25th: Nanoindentation experts will launch the new Gemini that measures the interaction of two objects that are sliding across each other – not merely making contact April 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