Structural Biochemistry/Nucleic Acid/Sugars/Ribose
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Ribose primarily occurs as D-ribose. It is an aldopentose, a monosaccharide containing five carbon atoms that has an aldehyde
functional group at one end. Typically, this species exists in the cyclic form. Ribose composes the backbone for RNA and relates to deoxyribose, as found in DNA, by removal of the hydroxy group on the 2' Carbon.
Ribose is less resistant to hydrolysis and will cause tension in RNA due to the negative charge of the phosphodiester bridge and the hydroxyl group on the 2' Carbon. The hydroxyl group has the capability to attack the phosphodiesr bond that typically links it to another ribose, thereby forming a cyclic form of the sugar. An example of this is cyclic Adenosine Monophosphate (cAMP).
Roles of D-ribose in the body 
Aside of being the backbone for RNA and DNA, D-ribose is also important in the creation of ATP that all cells require to stay alive. It is currently used in medicinal practice to increase muscle energy and improve exercise performance. People that experiences Fibromyalglia and chronic fatigue syndrome that took a supplement of D-ribose improved their conditions dramatically. D-ribose supplements improved their conditions because it helps the patients produce more ATP in the body, because their body cannot produce a sufficient amount of ATP needed.
D-ribose has an important role in improving heart function for patients that suffer symptoms of congestive heart failure (CHF). Ischaemia, which is sudden decrease of blood supply, reduces myocardial ATP level. The addition of D-ribose will replenish the ATP level because it shortens the time it takes to create and restore ATP levels. Therefore the patient will be able to last longer during exercising before experiencing left chest pain, because the body is getting adequate amount of myocardial ATP. It also aided in regulating blood circulation in the heart by normalizing and readjusting blood flow through the left ventricle and atrium to accommodate the sudden change in blood supply. As a result patients suffering from CHF has an improved quality of life after taking D-ribose supplements because they are able to do more physical activity and return to a near normal lifestyle.
D-Ribose supplement is also important to athletes as well because it quickly replenishes ATP levels in muscle to help increase stamina and aid in strength building. D-ribose shorten the time it takes to create ATP because it directly enter the pentose phosphate pathway to create ribose-5-phosphate without having to go through the glucose-6-phospohate dehydrogense and 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase, both of which require rate-limiting enzymes to form. The rate-limiting enzyme will slow down the creation of ATP, therefore by bypassing those pathways ATP will be produced at a higher rate. Hence, it restores ATP that was loss during exercise faster.
Summary of the roles:
1. Provide a backbone for DNA and RNA
2. Restores ATP in the body
3. Improve muscle stamina
4. Regulate blood circulation in the heart.
Natural sources of D-Ribose 
D-ribose is a molecule that is naturally produced by the human body and is not found in food sources. However riboflavin, a component of d-ribose that helps aid in the production of d-ribose, is found in a plethora of food. Riboflavin, also known as vitamin B2 is found in found in eggs, milk products, nuts, vegetable, beef, and other proteins. However, these should be kept in areas where it is dimly lit because light can damage riboflavin.
Aside from helping form d-ribose, riboflavin also helps fight off free radicals that can be damaging to cell. Hence it is also a form of antioxidant for the body. Free radicals can damage cells and increase aging and contribute to health conditions, such as heart disease and cancer, therefore riboflavin aids in the reduction of free radicals found in one’s body. Another function of riboflavin is that it helps produce red blood cell and convert B6 vitamin into a form the body can use. Another function of riboflavin is that it helps skin develop properly.
Summary of roles:
1. Helps form ribose that is then converted to d-ribose
2. Acts as an antioxidants
3. Helps produce red blood cells.
4. Convert B6 vitamin into a form the body can use.
5. Helps develop skin properly.