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Chapter 20 Carbohydrates. Carbohydrates. Originally, carbohydrates were those compounds having the formula C n (H 2 O) m . Only monosaccharides or simple sugars fit the formula. Glucose C 6 H 12 O 6 Sucrose C 12 H 22 O 11. Not all Carbohydrates, have this general formula.

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Originally, carbohydrates were those compounds having the formula Cn(H2O)m. Only monosaccharides or simple sugars fit the formula.

Glucose C6H12O6

Sucrose C12 H22O11


Not all Carbohydrates, have this general formula.

Some have less Oxygen, Some have more Oxygen ,Some have Nitrogen etc etc


Carbohydrate: At a molecular level carbohydrate is defined as a polyhydroxyaldehyde or polyhydroxyketone, or a substance that gives these compounds on hydrolysis.

Carbohydrates are divided into Monosaccharides and polysaccharides


Carbohydrate: At a molecular level carbohydrate is defined as a polyhydroxyaldehyde or polyhydroxyketone, or a substance that gives these compounds on hydrolysis.

Monosaccharide:A carbohydrate that cannot be hydrolyzed to a simpler carbohydrate.

Monosaccharides have the general formula CnH2nOn, where n varies from 3 to 8.

Aldose: A monosaccharide containing an aldehyde group.

Ketose: A monosaccharide containing a ketone group.


The suffix -ose indicates that a molecule is a carbohydrate.

The prefixes tri-, tetra, penta, and so forth indicate the number of carbon atoms in the chain.

Those containing an aldehyde group are classified as aldoses.

Those containing a ketone group are classified as ketoses.

There are only two trioses:

Often aldo- and keto- are omitted and these compounds are referred to simply as trioses.

Although “triose” does not tell the nature of the carbonyl group, it at least tells the number of carbons.


Figure 20.1 Glyceraldehyde, the simplest aldose, contains one stereocenter and exists as a pair of enantiomers.

(non superimposable mirror images)


Fischer projection:A two-dimensional representation for showing the configuration of tetrahedral stereocenters.

Horizontal lines represent bonds projecting forward from the stereocenter.

Vertical lines represent bonds projecting to the rear.

Only the stereocenter is in the plane.


In 1891, Emil Fischer made the arbitrary assignments of D- and L- to the enantiomers of glyceraldehyde.

D-monosaccharide: the -OH on its penultimate carbon is on the right in a Fischer projection.

L-monosaccharide: the -OH on its penultimate carbon is on the left in a Fischer projection.

d l monosaccharides

The most common D-tetroses and D-pentoses are:

d l monosaccharides2


Allose, altrose, glucose, mannose, gulose,idose, galactose, talose

All altruists gladly make gum in gallon tanks.

d l monosaccharides3

The three most common D-hexoses are:

amino sugars
Amino Sugars

Amino sugars contain an -NH2 group in place of an -OH group.

Only three amino sugars are common in nature: D-glucosamine, D-mannosamine, and D-galactosamine. N-acetyl-D-glucosamine is an acetylated derivative of D-glucosamine.

cyclic structure
Cyclic Structure

Aldehydes and ketones react with alcohols to form hemiacetals (Chapter 17).

Cyclic hemiacetals form readily when the hydroxyl and carbonyl groups are part of the same molecule and their interaction can form a five- or six-membered ring.

haworth projections
Haworth Projections

Figure 20.2 D-Glucose forms these two cyclic hemiacetals.

haworth projections1
Haworth Projections

A five- or six-membered cyclic hemiacetal is represented as a planar ring, lying roughly perpendicular to the plane of the paper.

Groups bonded to the carbons of the ring then lie either above or below the plane of the ring.

The new carbon stereocenter created in forming the cyclic structure is called the anomeric carbon.

Stereoisomers that differ in configuration only at the anomeric carbon are called anomers.

The anomeric carbon of an aldose is C-1; that of the most common ketose is C-2.

haworth projections2
Haworth Projections

In the terminology of carbohydrate chemistry,

b means that the -OH on the anomeric carbon is on the same side of the ring as the terminal -CH2OH.

a means that the -OH on the anomeric carbon is on the side of the ring opposite from the terminal -CH2OH.

A six-membered hemiacetal ring is called a pyranose, and a five-membered hemiacetal ring is called a furanosebecause these ring sizes correspond to the heterocyclic compounds furan and pyran.

haworth projections3
Haworth Projections

Aldopentoses also form cyclic hemiacetals.

The most prevalent forms of D-ribose and other pentoses in the biological world are furanoses.

The prefix “deoxy” means “without oxygen.”

haworth projections4
Haworth Projections

D-Fructose (a 2-ketohexose) also forms a five-membered cyclic hemiacetal.

chair conformations
Chair Conformations

For pyranoses, the six-membered ring is more accurately represented as a strain-free chair conformation.

chair conformations1
Chair Conformations

In both Haworth projections and chair conformations, the orientations of groups on carbons 1- 5 of b-D-glucopyranose are up, down, up, down, and up.


Mutarotation: The change in specific rotation that accompanies the equilibration of a- and b-anomers in aqueous solution.

Example: When either a-D-glucose or b-D-glucose is dissolved in water, the specific rotation of the solution gradually changes to an equilibrium value of +52.7°, which corresponds to 64% beta and 36% alpha forms.

formation of glycosides
Formation of Glycosides

Treatment of a monosaccharide, all of which exist almost exclusively in cyclic hemiacetal forms, with an alcohol gives an acetal.

formation of glycosides1
Formation of Glycosides

A cyclic acetal derived from a monosaccharide is called a glycoside.

The bond from the anomeric carbon to the -OR group is called a glycosidic bond.

Mutarotation is not possible for a glycoside because an acetal, unlike a hemiacetal, is not in equilibrium with the open-chain carbonyl-containing compound.

Glycosides are stable in water and aqueous base, but like other acetals, are hydrolyzed in aqueous acid to an alcohol and a monosaccharide.

Glycosides are named by listing the alkyl or aryl group bonded to oxygen followed by the name of the carbohydrate in which the ending -e is replaced by -ide.

reduction to alditols
Reduction to Alditols

The carbonyl group of a monosaccharide can be reduced to an hydroxyl group by a variety of reducing agents, including NaBH4 and H2 in the presence of a transition metal catalyst.

The reduction product is called an alditol.

Alditols are named by changing the suffix -ose to -itol.


Sorbitol is found in the plant world in many berries and in cherries, plums, pears, apples, seaweed, and algae.

It is about 60 percent as sweet as sucrose (table sugar) and is used in the manufacture of candies and as a sugar substitute for diabetics.

These three alditols are also common in the biological world. Note that only one of these is chiral.

oxidation to aldonic acids
Oxidation to Aldonic Acids

The aldehyde group of an aldose is oxidized under basic conditions to a carboxylate anion.

The oxidation product is called an aldonic acid.

A carbohydrate that reacts with an oxidizing agent to form an aldonic acid is classified as a reducing sugar (it reduces the oxidizing agent).

2-Ketoses (e.g. D-fructose) are also reducing sugars.

oxidation to aldonic acids1
Oxidation to Aldonic Acids
  • The body uses glucuronic acid to detoxify foreign alcohols and phenols.
  • These compounds are converted in the liver to glycosides of glucuronic acid and then excreted in the urine.
  • The intravenous anesthetic propofol is converted to the following water-soluble glucuronide and excreted.
  • Table sugar, obtained from the juice of sugar cane and sugar beet.
  • The principle sugar present in milk.
    • About 5 - 8% in human milk, 4 - 5% in cow’s milk.
  • From malt, the juice of sprouted barley and other cereal grains.

Polysaccharide: A carbohydrate consisting of large numbers of monosaccharide units joined by glycosidic bonds.

Starch: A polymer of D-glucose.

Starch can be separated into amylose and amylopectin.

Amylose is composed of unbranched chains of up to 4000 D-glucose units joined by a-1,4-glycosidic bonds.

Amylopectin contains chains up to 10,000 D-glucose units also joined by a-1,4-glycosidic bonds; at branch points, new chains of 24 to 30 units are started by a-1,6-glycosidic bonds.

  • Figure 20.3 Amylopectin is a branched polymer of D-glucose units joined by a-1,4-glycosidic bonds. Branches consist of D-glucose units that start with an a-1,6-glycosidic bond.

Glycogen is the energy-reserve carbohydrate for animals.

Glycogen is a branched polysaccharide of approximately 106 glucose units joined by a-1,4- and a-1,6-glycosidic bonds.

The total amount of glycogen in the body of a well-nourished adult human is about 350 g, divided almost equally between liver and muscle.


Cellulose is a linear polysaccharide of D-glucose units joined by b-1,4-glycosidic bonds.

It has an average molecular weight of 400,000 g/mol, corresponding to approximately 2200 glucose units per molecule.

Cellulose molecules act like stiff rods and align themselves side by side into well-organized water-insoluble fibers in which the OH groups form numerous intermolecular hydrogen bonds.

This arrangement of parallel chains in bundles gives cellulose fibers their high mechanical strength.

It is also the reason why cellulose is insoluble in water.

  • Figure 20.4 Cellulose is a linear polysaccharide of D-glucose units joined by b-1,4-glycosidic bonds.

Cellulose (cont’d)

Humans and other animals can not digest cellulose because their digestive systems do not contain b-glycosidases, enzymes that catalyze the hydrolysis of b-glycosidic bonds.

Termites have such bacteria in their intestines and can use wood as their principal food.

Ruminants (cud-chewing animals) and horses can also digest grasses and hay.

Humans have only a-glucosidases; hence, the polysaccharides we use as sources of glucose are starch and glycogen.

Many bacteria and microorganisms have b-glucosidases.

acidic polysaccharides
Acidic Polysaccharides

Acidic polysaccharides: a group of polysaccharides that contain carboxyl groups and/or sulfuric ester groups, and play important roles in the structure and function of connective tissues.

There is no single general type of connective tissue.

Rather, there are a large number of highly specialized forms, such as cartilage, bone, synovial fluid, skin, tendons, blood vessels, intervertebral disks, and cornea.

Most connective tissues are made up of collagen, a structural protein, in combination with a variety of acidic polysaccharides.

acidic polysaccharides1
Acidic Polysaccharides

Heparin (cont’d)

Heparin is synthesized and stored in mast cells of various tissues, particularly the liver, lungs, and gut.

The best known and understood of its biological functions is its anticoagulant activity.

It binds strongly to antithrombin III, a plasma protein involved in terminating the clotting process.

  • Figure 20.5 The repeating pentasaccharide unit of heparin.