Nomenclature of carbohydrates. Recommendations 1996

This comprehensive 90-page document expands and replaces the Tentative Rules for Carbohydrate Nomenclature, Part 1 [18] issued in 1969 jointly by the IUPAC Commission on the Nomenclature of Organic Chemistry (CNOC) and the IUPAC-IUB Commission on Biochemical Nomenclature (CBN).

The present recommendations deal with the acyclic and cyclic forms of monosaccharides and their simple derivatives, as well as with the nomenclature of oligosaccharides and polysaccharides. They are additional to the Definitive Rules for the Nomenclature of Organic Chemistry [19, 20] and are intended to govern those aspects of the nomenclature of carbohydrates not covered by these rules. In this document, the recommendations are designated 2-Carb-n, to distinguish them from the Carb-n recommendations in the previous document.

Integrated into the present document are updated versions of the IUPAC-IUB recommendations published during the 1980's on the conformational nomenclature for five and six-membered ring forms of monosaccharides and their derivatives [21], on the nomenclature of unsaturated monosaccharides [22], on the nomenclature of branched-chain monosaccharides [23], on abbreviated terminology of oligosaccharide chains [24], and on the nomenclature of polysaccharides [25]. The original documents should be consulted for further examples not included in the present recommendations.

Of relevance to the field, though not incorporated into the present document, are the recommendations on the nomenclature of cyclitols [26], on the numbering of atoms in myo-inositol [27], on symbols for specifying the conformation of polysaccharide chains [28], on the nomenclature of glycoproteins, glycopeptides and peptidoglycans [29], and on the nomenclature of glycolipids (in preparation).

Thanks are due to the international expert panel on carbohydrates convened by Derek Horton, chairman of the American Chemical Society Committee for Carbohydrate Nomenclature. Production of the document has been realized by Alan D. McNaught at the Royal Society of Chemistry in England.

The recommendations have been published in Pure Appl. Chem. 68, 1919-2008 (1996), reprinted in Carbohydr. Res. 297, 1-90 (1997) and in Adv. Carbohydr. Chem. Biochem. 52, 43-177 (1997). They are available on the World Wide Web at

We hope that this document will serve the needs of the carbohydrate scientists well into the next century.

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