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The final subchapter provides a general experimental procedure for epimerization of saccharides with amine complexes of transition and alkaline earth metals alkaline earth metals Subject Category: Chemicals and Chemical Groups see more details. Back to top. Edit annotation.

Carbohydrates - Haworth & Fischer Projections With Chair Conformations

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Name your project Please enter project name. Project already exists. Cancel Create project. Privacy policy. By converting an aldose to its corresponding aldaric acid derivative, the ends of the chain become identical this could also be accomplished by reducing the aldehyde to CH 2 OH, as noted below. Such an operation will disclose any latent symmetry in the remaining molecule.

Thus, ribose, xylose, allose and galactose yield achiral aldaric acids which are, of course, not optically active. The ribose oxidation is shown in equation 2 below. Other aldose sugars may give identical chiral aldaric acid products, implying a unique configurational relationship. The examples of arabinose and lyxose shown in equation 3 above illustrate this result.

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Thus, allitol and galactitol from reduction of allose and galactose are achiral, and altrose and talose are reduced to the same chiral alditol. A summary of these redox reactions, and derivative nomenclature is given in the following table. Osazone Formation 1. The osazone reaction was developed and used by Emil Fischer to identify aldose sugars differing in configuration only at the alpha-carbon.

The upper equation shows the general form of the osazone reaction, which effects an alpha-carbon oxidation with formation of a bis-phenylhydrazone, known as an osazone. Application of the osazone reaction to D-glucose and D-mannose demonstrates that these compounds differ in configuration only at C Chain Shortening and Lengthening 1.

These two procedures permit an aldose of a given size to be related to homologous smaller and larger aldoses. The importance of these relationships may be seen in the array of aldose structures presented earlier, where the structural connections are given by the dashed blue lines. Thus Ruff degradation of the pentose arabinose gives the tetrose erythrose.

Working in the opposite direction, a Kiliani-Fischer synthesis applied to arabinose gives a mixture of glucose and mannose. An alternative chain shortening procedure known as the Wohl degradation is essentially the reverse of the Kiliani-Fischer synthesis. Using these reactions we can now follow Fischer's train of logic in assigning the configuration of D-glucose. Ribose and arabinose two well known pentoses both gave erythrose on Ruff degradation. As expected, Kiliani-Fischer synthesis applied to erythrose gave a mixture of ribose and arabinose.


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Oxidation of erythrose gave an achiral optically inactive aldaric acid. This defines the configuration of erythrose. Oxidation of ribose gave an achiral optically inactive aldaric acid. This defines the configuration of both ribose and arabinose. Ruff shortening of glucose gave arabinose, and Kiliani-Fischer synthesis applied to arabinose gave a mixture of glucose and mannose. Glucose and mannose are therefore epimers at C-2, a fact confirmed by the common product from their osazone reactions.

A pair of structures for these epimers can be written, but which is glucose and which is mannose? In order to determine which of these epimers was glucose, Fischer made use of the inherent C 2 symmetry in the four-carbon dissymmetric core of one epimer B. This is shown in the following diagram by a red dot where the symmetry axis passes through the projection formula.

By clicking on the diagram , the consequences of such an exchange will be displayed. Fischer looked for and discovered a second aldohexose that represented the end group exchange for the epimer lacking the latent C 2 symmetry A. Equations for this operation will be displayed by clicking again on the above diagram. The remaining epimer is therefore mannose. If a monosaccharide has a carbonyl function on one of the inner atoms of the carbon chain it is classified as a ketose.

Dihydroxyacetone may not be a sugar, but it is included as the ketose analog of glyceraldehyde.

The carbonyl group is commonly found at C-2, as illustrated by the following examples chiral centers are colored red. As expected, the carbonyl function of a ketose may be reduced by sodium borohydride, usually to a mixture of epimeric products. D-Fructose, the sweetest of the common natural sugars, is for example reduced to a mixture of D-glucitol sorbitol and D-mannitol, named after the aldohexoses from which they may also be obtained by analogous reduction.

Mannitol is itself a common natural carbohydrate. Although the ketoses are distinct isomers of the aldose monosaccharides, the chemistry of both classes is linked due to their facile interconversion in the presence of acid or base catalysts. This interconversion, and the corresponding epimerization at sites alpha to the carbonyl functions, occurs by way of an enediol tautomeric intermediate. By clicking on the diagram , an equation illustrating these isomerizations will be displayed. Because of base-catalyzed isomerizations of this kind, the Tollens' reagent is not useful for distinguishing aldoses from ketoses or for specific oxidation of aldoses to the corresponding aldonic acids.

Oxidation by HOBr is preferred for the latter conversion. Fischer's brilliant elucidation of the configuration of glucose did not remove all uncertainty concerning its structure. Two different crystalline forms of glucose were reported in Each of these gave all the characteristic reactions of glucose, and when dissolved in water equilibrated to the same mixture.

This equilibration takes place over a period of many minutes, and the change in optical activity that occurs is called mutarotation. These facts are summarized in the diagram below. Acid-catalyzed hydrolysis of the pentamethyl ether derivatives, however, gave a tetramethyl derivative that was oxidized by Tollen's reagent and reduced by sodium borohydride, as expected for an aldehyde. These reactions will be displayed above by clicking on the diagram. The search for scientific truth often proceeds in stages, and the structural elucidation of glucose serves as a good example.

It should be clear from the new evidence presented above, that the open chain pentahydroxyhexanal structure drawn above must be modified. Somehow a new stereogenic center must be created, and the aldehyde must be deactivated in the pentamethyl derivative. A simple solution to this dilemma is achieved by converting the open aldehyde structure for glucose into a cyclic hemiacetal, called a glucopyranose , as shown in the following diagram.

The linear aldehyde is tipped on its side, and rotation about the C4-C5 bond brings the C5-hydroxyl function close to the aldehyde carbon. For ease of viewing, the six-membered hemiacetal structure is drawn as a flat hexagon, but it actually assumes a chair conformation. We can now consider how this modification of the glucose structure accounts for the puzzling facts noted above.