Molecule of the Week

D-Glucose

July 2, 2012

D-Glucose is the most common naturally occurring simple sugar and is a building block for disaccharides sucrose and lactose and higher oligo- and polysaccharides. It is the only sugar unit in cellulose and starch. Animals and plants produce D-glucose by glycogenolysis and photosynthesis, respectively, and use it as a primary energy source. D-Glucose is often depicted in the open form, but in solution more than 99% of it exists in one of two closed pyranose forms (α-D-glucopyranose is illustrated). Emil Fischer received the 1902 Nobel Prize in chemistry for his pioneering work in elucidating the structures of D-glucose and other sugars.

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