Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso


  • Henderson James (Jim) CleavesII
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_412-3


Deoxyribose is an aldopentose (C5H10O4) found in the backbone of DNA. It exists in two stereoisomeric forms, D and L. The isomer used in DNA is the D-form. It is derived biologically from D-ribose by reduction of the C2 hydroxyl group via a radical mechanism. It is typically found in deoxynucleotides in the pentofuranose form. In DNA, it is linked via the 3′ and 5′ hydroxyl groups to connecting phosphate groups. When attached to a nitrogenous base, it becomes part of a deoxynucleoside.

See Also


Bioorganic Chemistry Phosphate Group Nitrogenous Base Radical Mechanism Stereoisomeric Form 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI)Tokyo Institute of Technology, Meguro-kuTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Institute for Advanced StudyPrincetonUSA
  3. 3.Blue Marble Space Institute of ScienceWashingtonUSA
  4. 4.Center for Chemical EvolutionGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA