Chapter: Basic Concept of Biotechnology - Biomolecules

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Rare sugars

Rare sugars are defined by the International Society of Rare Sugars (ISRS) as monosaccharide’s and their derivatives that are rare in nature.

Rare sugars

 

         Rare sugars are defined by the International Society of Rare Sugars (ISRS) as monosaccharide’s and their derivatives that are rare in nature. They are hardly available for research purposes because of their expensiveness. "Izumoring", a structural framework containing all 34 six-carbon monosaccharide’s linked by enzymatic reactions, has been proposed following the discovery of a key enzyme that converts abundantly occurring monosaccharide’s in nature into rare sugars. This has made possible the mass production of rare sugars from inexpensive sugars such as D-glucose or D-fructose. Rare Sugars are mostly used in pharmaceuticals as precursors for a wide variety of carbohydrate-based drugs. These include nucleoside analogues, which are used in antiviral applications such as HIV, HBV and HCV. Another important class of compounds is complex oligosaccharides and olignonucleotides, which may be used as anti-inflammatory or anti-cancer agents, as well as in highly specific chronic pain relievers. They are also being used as precursors in the production of flavor chemicals, such as natural furan ones and Maillard reaction savory flavors. Furthermore, some of the rare sugars products have applications as nutraceuticals or they may be used in high-end cosmetic products. They are enlisted under the D & L series depending on their chirality.


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