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Ribose is a 5-carbon monosaccharide with the molecular formula C5H10O5. It is found as two enantiomers, D-Ribose or L-Ribose but the former is commonly found in nature. Structurally, it is an aldopentose with an aldehyde group on carbon-1. It can form a furanose ring when the C-1 aldehyde group reacts with the C-4 hydroxyl group to form either α-ribose or β-ribose[1]. Although similar to deoxyribose which is found in DNA, it contains a hydroxyl group on carbon-2 instead of a hydrogen atom only. A key component in RNA, it forms a N-glycosidic bond with a nitrogenous base on the 1’ carbon and a phosphodiester linkage on the 5’ carbon[2]. Ribose is used in producing different types of RNAs such as messenger RNA (mRNA), transfer RNA (tRNA), and small nuclear RNA (snRNA), including adenosine triphosophate (ATP) and guanosine triphosphate (GTP), both of which are sources for energy. 


  1. Jeremy M Berg, John L. Tymoczko, Lubert Stryer, (2011), Biochemistry. 7th edition, New York,USA W. H. Freeman
  2. Bruce Alberts, Alexander Johnson, Julian Lewis, David Morgan, Martin Raff, Keith Roberts, Peter Walter (2014), Molecular Biology of the Cell. 6th edition, New York and Abingdon, Garland Science
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