7 Remarkable Difference between Deoxyribose and Ribose with Examples

What is the difference between deoxyribose and ribose?

Ribose and deoxyribose are simple sugars found in living things. Spotting the difference between deoxyribose and ribose structure can be quite difficult.

The core difference between deoxyribose and ribose is that ribose is a pentose monosaccharide found on RNA while deoxyribose is a monosaccharide that participates in the formation of DNA.

Difference between Deoxyribose and Ribose

What Is Deoxyribose?

Deoxyribose is a simple sugar that participates in the formation of DNA. It has a chemical formula of C5H10O4. The simple sugar is formed after the loss of oxygen atom.

The simple sugar has two enantiomers such as D-2-deoxyribose and L-2-deoxyribose. D-2-deoxyribose occurs in nature and it is the main precursor of the nucleic acid DNA.

What Is Ribose?

Ribose is an organic compound found in the RNA. It has a chemical formula of C5H10O5. The two enantiomers are D-ribose and L-ribose. D-ribose is responsible to occur in nature where ribose β-D-ribofuranose is responsible for RNA formation.

Read More: Difference between Reducing and Non-Reducing Sugar

Comparison Chart: Deoxyribose Vs Ribose

Basic Terms Deoxyribose Ribose
MeaningIt is a monosaccharide used in the formation of DNAIt is a pentose sugar found in the RNA
Chemical FormulaC5H10O4C5H10O5
Molar Mass134.13 g·mol−1150.13 g/mol
IUPAC name2-deoxy-D-ribose(2S,3R,4S,5R)-5-(hydroxymethyl)oxolane-2,3,4-triol
HistoryDiscovered in 1929 by Phoebus LeveneDiscovered in 1891 by Emil Fischer
Alternative Name2-deoxy-D-erythro-pentose, thymineD-Ribose
StructureHydroxyl (OH) group at position 2Hydrogen (H) atom at position 2
Found inDNARNA
Biological importanceThe main backbone of DNAThe main backbone of RNA

Core Differences between Deoxyribose and Ribose 

  1. Deoxyribose has a chemical formula of C5H10O4 while that of ribose is C5H10O5
  2. The IUPAC name of deoxyribose is 2-deoxy-D-ribose while that of ribose is (2S,3R,4S,5R)-5-(hydroxymethyl)oxolane-2,3,4-triol
  3. The structure of deoxyribose has hydroxyl (OH) group at position 2 while that of ribose has a hydrogen (H) atom at position 2
  4. The molar mass of deoxyribose is 134.13 g/mol while ribose is 150.13 g/mol
  5. The alternative name of deoxyribose is 2-deoxy-D-erythro-pentose while that of ribose is D-Ribose
  6. Deoxyribose was discovered in 1929 by Phoebus Levene while ribose was discovered in 1891 Emil Fischer
  7. Deoxyribose is found in DNA while ribose is found in RNA

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Comparison Video

Summary

The main difference between ribose and deoxyribose is that ribose is a simple sugar found in RNA while deoxyribose is a monosaccharide used in genetic formation. The nucleic acids found in deoxyribose and ribose are quite vital for living organisms.

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