Essentials of Glycobiology

2nd Edition

What is Glycobiology?

Glycobiology is the study of the physical properties for carbohydrates (glycans), which includes the structure and biological function. Importantly, the field of glycobiology is expanding and providing key insights for biotechnology, basic, and disease research. Explore our glycobiology resources below.

Monosaccharide List - Symbols, Abbreviations, and Projections

Basic Monosaccharides

Monosaccharides, also known as simple sugars, are the core building blocks used to assemble complex glycans.  Monosaccharides can be classified according to the number of carbon atoms they contain (trioses, tetroses, pentoses, hexoses, and heptoses).  The sugars are further classified by specific functional groups or sugar modifications that they contain, including loss of hydroxyl groups (deoxy, dideoxy) and substitution (amino sugars, sugar alcohols, sugar acids, ketoses, lactones).  In addition to functional substitution, the chirality of the monosaccharide is of fundamental importance.  With some exceptions, the D-enantiomers primarily occur in nature.

Monosaccharide List - Symbols, Abbreviations, and Projections

The following table shows abbreviations, structure projections using 3-D chair, Haworth and Fischer images, and accepted symbols of the monosaccharides and variants most commonly used in the field of glycobiology.  These symbols are used for subsequent structure images in this manual.

Monosaccharides Key

Monosaccharides Key