Uronic acids are monocarboxylic acids derived from aldose or ketose monosaccharides, obtained by oxidation of a primary alcohol group of a ketose or an aldose, generally with 5 or 6 carbon atoms.
Uronic acids are named after the corresponding monosaccharides.
These are somewhat widespread acids in nature: we remember the glucuronic acid that is found in many polysaccharides present in the animal and vegetable world; the galacturonic acid that is found in pectins; Mannuronic acid which is the main component of alginic acid etc.
Uronic acids are mainly derived through biosynthesis processes in which specific enzymes are involved. To become alduronic acids, aldose sugars undergo a highly specific enzymatic oxidation, which saves the carbonyl group placed on C1 but acts only on the hydroxyl of C6, located at the end of the carbohydrate chain: therefore, an alduronic acid still has the old aldehyde group on C1 and a new carboxyl group on C6.
Obviously, like an aldose, a uronic acid exists mainly in cyclic form, with C1 and C5 engaged in the hemiacetal bond typical of all pyranotic and furanosic carbohydrates.
Uronic acids perform important biochemical functions; remember the glucuronic acid, deriving from D-glucose, which allows the excretion of toxic substances through the urine by conjugation of exogenous alcohols and phenols (such as the propofol anesthetic) at the level of the hepatocytes with the formation of a bond glycoside which produces a water-soluble molecule. Or hyduronic acid which is the component of some structural complexes such as proteoglycans.
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