BACK TO ribose

ribose vs. deoxyribose

ribose vs. deoxyribose: What’s the difference?

Deoxyribose is what puts the D in DNA (a.k.a. deoxyribonucleic acid). It’s a sugar found in the side chains of DNA. Ribose is what puts the R in RNA (a.k.a. ribonucleic acid). It’s almost the same as deoxyribose, except that one of its carbon atoms is paired with a hydrogen atom instead of both hydrogen and oxygen. The is what the prefix deoxy- indicates—that oxygen has been removed (the chemical formula for ribose is C5H10O5; for deoxyribose, it’s C5H10O4).

[ rahy-bohs ]
  1. a white, crystalline, water-soluble, slightly sweet solid, C5H10O5, a pentose sugar obtained by the hydrolysis of RNA.
[ dee-ok-si-rahy-bohs ]
  1. any of certain carbohydrates derived from ribose by the replacement of a hydroxyl group with a hydrogen atom.
  2. the sugar, HOCH2(CHOH)2CH2CHO, obtained from DNA by hydrolysis.

Compare More Commonly Confused Words