AskDefine | Define fucose

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. The aldohexose (3S,4R,5R,6S)-6-methyloxane-2,3,4,5-tetrol present in several glycans and mucopolysaccharides

Extensive Definition

Fucose is a hexose deoxy sugar with the chemical formula C6H12O5. It is found on N-linked glycans on the mammalian, insect and plant cell surface, and is the fundamental sub-unit of the fucoidan polysaccharide. Alpha1→3 linked core fucose is a suspected carbohydrate antigen for IgE-mediated allergy.
Two structural features distinguish fucose from other six-carbon sugars present in mammals: the lack of a hydroxyl group on the carbon at the 6-position (C-6) and the L-configuration. It is equivalent to 6-deoxy-L-galactose.
In the fucose-containing glycan structures, fucosylated glycans, fucose can exist as a terminal modification or serve as an attachment point for adding other sugars. In human N-linked glycans, fucose is most commonly linked alpha 1,6 to the reducing terminal beta-N-acetlyglucosamine. However, fucose at the non-reducing termini linked alpha 1,2 to galactose forms the H antigen, the substructure of the A and B blood group antigens.
Fucose is metabolized by an enzyme called alpha-fucosidase.

See also


fucose in German: Fucose
fucose in Spanish: Fucosa
fucose in French: Fucose
fucose in Hungarian: Fukóz
fucose in Japanese: フコース
fucose in Russian: Фукоза
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