Carbohydrates: The Essential Molecules of Life

2nd Edition

Authors: Robert Stick Spencer Williams
Hardcover ISBN: 9780240521183
eBook ISBN: 9780080927022
Imprint: Elsevier Science
Published Date: 24th October 2008
Page Count: 496
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This book provides the "nuts and bolts" background for a successful study of carbohydrates - the essential molecules that not only give you energy, but are an integral part of many biological processes.

A question often asked is 'Why do carbohydrate chemistry?' The answer is simple: It is fundamental to a study of biology. Carbohydrates are the building blocks of life and enable biological processes to take place. Therefore the book will provide a taste for the subject of glycobiology.

Covering the basics of carbohydrates and then the chemistry and reactions of carbohydrates this book will enable a chemist to gain essential knowledge that will enable them to move smoothly into the worlds of biochemistry, molecular biology and cell biology.

Key Features

  • includes perspective from new co-author Spencer Williams, who enhances coverage of the connection between carbohydrates and life
  • describes the basic chemistry and biology of carbohydrates
  • reviews the concepts, synthesis, reactions, and biology of carbohydrates


Researchers, scientists, and advanced undergraduate and graduate students in biochemistry and organic chemistry.

Table of Contents


Preface and Acknowledgements Abbreviations CHAPTER 1: The ‘Nuts and Bolts’ of Carbohydrates The early years The constitution of glucose and other sugars The cyclic forms of sugars, and mutarotation The shape (conformation) of cyclic sugars, and the anomeric effect References CHAPTER 2: Synthesis and Protecting Groups Esters Ethers Acetals The protection of amines Orthogonality References CHAPTER 3: The Reactions of Monosaccharides Oxidation Reduction Halogenation Alkenes and carbocycles Anhydro sugars Deoxy, amino deoxy and branched-chain sugars Miscellaneous reactions Industrially important ketoses Aza and imino sugars References CHAPTER 4: The Formation of the Glycosidic Linkage General Hemiacetals Glycosyl esters Glycosyl halides and orthoesters Glycosyl imidates Thioglycosides Glycosyl sulfoxides Glycals 4-Pentenyl activation Beta-D-Mannopyranosides 2-Acetamido-2-deoxy glycosides 2-Deoxy glycosides Sialosides Furanosides Miscellaneous methods C-Glycosides References CHAPTER 5: Oligosaccharide Synthesis Strategies in oligosaccharide synthesis Polymer-supported synthesis of oligosaccharides References CHAPTER 6: Monosaccharide Metabolism Glucose-6-phosphate: a central molecule in carbohydrate metabolism Glycolysis The fate of pyruvate i


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About the Author

Robert Stick

Robert Stick is a Queenslander by birth and completed his undergraduate and higher degrees at the University of Queensland. Following post-doctoral studies with Ray Lemieux and Sir Derek Barton, he took a faculty position at The University of Western Australia in 1975 and has since spent sabbatical leaves with Bert Fraser-Reid (Duke University), and with Bill Cullen and Steve Withers (both of the University of British Columbia).

Affiliations and Expertise

The University of Western Australia, Nedlands

Spencer Williams