CAS number 533-67-5 YesY
PubChem 5460005
ChemSpider 4573703 YesY
EC-number 208-573-0
ChEBI CHEBI:28816 YesY
Jmol-3D images Image 1
Molecular formula C5H10O4
Molar mass 134.13 g mol−1
Appearance White solid
Melting point

91 °C, 364 K, 196 °F

Solubility in water Very soluble
 YesY (verify) (what is: YesY/N?)
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Infobox references

Deoxyribose, more, precisely 2-deoxyribose, is a monosaccharide with idealized formula H-(C=O)-(CH2)-(CHOH)3-H. Its name indicates that it is a deoxy sugar, meaning that it is derived from the sugar ribose by loss of an oxygen atom. Since the pentose sugars arabinose and ribose only differ by the stereochemistry at C2', 2-deoxyribose and 2-deoxyarabinose are equivalent, although the latter term is rarely used because ribose, not arabinose, is the precursor to deoxyribose.



Several isomers exist with the formula H-(C=O)-(CH2)-(CHOH)3-H, but in deoxyribose all the hydroxyl groups are on the same side in the Fischer projection. The term "2-deoxyribose" may refer to either of two enantiomers: the biologically important D-2-deoxyribose and to the rarely encountered mirror image L-2-deoxyribose.[2] D-2-Deoxyribose is a precursor to the nucleic acid DNA. 2-Deoxyribose is an aldopentose, that is, a monosaccharide with five carbon atoms and having an aldehyde functional group.

In aqueous solution, deoxyribose primarily exists as a mixture of three structures: the linear form H-(C=O)-(CH2)-(CHOH)3-H and two ring forms, deoxyribofuranose ("C3'-endo"), with a five-membered ring, and deoxyribopyranose ("C2'-endo"), with a six-membered ring. The latter form is predominant (whereas the C3'-endo form is favored for ribose).

Chemical equilibrium of deoxyribose in solution.

Biological importance

As a component of DNA, 2-deoxyribose derivatives have an important role in biology.[3] The DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) molecule, which is the main repository of genetic information in life, consists of a long chain of deoxyribose-containing units called nucleotides, linked via phosphate groups. In the standard nucleic acid nomenclature, a DNA nucleotide consists of a deoxyribose molecule with an organic base (usually adenine, thymine, guanine or cytosine) attached to the 1' ribose carbon. The 5' hydroxyl of each deoxyribose unit is replaced by a phosphate (forming a nucleotide) that is attached to the 3' carbon of the deoxyribose in the preceding unit.

The backbone of RNA and DNA are structurally similar, but RNA is single stranded and, of course, it is built from ribose not deoxyribose. The absence of the 2' hydroxyl group in deoxyribose is apparently responsible for the increased mechanical flexibility of DNA compared to RNA, which allows it to assume the double-helix conformation, and also (in the eukaryotes) to be compactly coiled within the small cell nucleus. The double-stranded DNA molecules are also typically much longer than RNA molecules.

Other biologically important derivatives of deoxyribose include mono-, di-, and triphosphates, as well as 3'-5' cyclic monophosphates.


Deoxyribose is generated from ribose 5-phosphate by enzymes called ribonucleotide reductases. These enzymes catalyse the deoxygenation process.


It was discovered in 1929 by Phoebus Levene.

See also


  1. ^ The Merck Index: An Encyclopedia of Chemicals, Drugs, and Biologicals (11th ed.), Merck, 1989, ISBN 091191028X , 2890
  2. ^ C Bernelot-Moens and B Demple (1989), Multiple DNA repair activities for 3'-deoxyribose fragments in Escherichia coli.. Nucleic Acids Research, Volume 17, issue 2, pp. 587–600.
  3. ^ C.Michael Hogan. 2010. Deoxyribonucleic acid. Encyclopedia of Earth. National Council for Science and the Environment. eds. S.Draggan and C.Cleveland. Washington DC

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • deoxyribose — n. a pentose ({C5H10O4}) in which one of the hydroxyl groups of ribose has been replaced by a hydrogen. In deoxyribonucleic acids, the deoxyribose is {D 2 deoxyribose}, in which the hydroxyl at the 2 position of ribose is the one which is… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • deoxyribose — deoxyribose. См. дезоксирибоза. (Источник: «Англо русский толковый словарь генетических терминов». Арефьев В.А., Лисовенко Л.А., Москва: Изд во ВНИРО, 1995 г.) …   Молекулярная биология и генетика. Толковый словарь.

  • deoxyribose — 1931, from DEOXY (Cf. deoxy ) (because the 2 hydroxyl ( OH) in the sugar is in this case reduced to a hydrogen (H) by loss of an oxygen) + RIBOSE (Cf. ribose) …   Etymology dictionary

  • deoxyribose — [dē äks΄ē rī′bōs] n. the sugar component, C5H10O4, of DNA …   English World dictionary

  • deoxyribose — /dee ok si ruy bohs/, n. Biochem. 1. any of certain carbohydrates derived from ribose by the replacement of a hydroxyl group with a hydrogen atom. 2. the sugar, HOCH2(CHOH)2CH2CHO, obtained from DNA by hydrolysis. [1930 35; DEOXY + RIBOSE] * * *… …   Universalium

  • deoxyribose — deoksiribozė statusas T sritis augalininkystė apibrėžtis Cukrus, turintis penkis anglies atomus molekulėje ir įeinantis į DNR sudėtį. atitikmenys: angl. deoxyribose rus. дезоксирибоза …   Žemės ūkio augalų selekcijos ir sėklininkystės terminų žodynas

  • deoxyribose — (2 deoxyribose) See: ribose …   Glossary of Biotechnology

  • Deoxyribose-phosphate aldolase — Identifiers EC number CAS number 9026 97 5 …   Wikipedia

  • deoxyribose nucleic acid — deoxyribose nucleic acid, = deoxyribonucleic acid. (Cf. ↑deoxyribonucleic acid) …   Useful english dictionary

  • deoxyribose — noun Etymology: International Scientific Vocabulary Date: 1938 a pentose sugar C5H10O4 that is a structural element of DNA …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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