Letter | Published:

Use of dl-Menthol for the Preparation of Biosynthetic Glucuronic Acid

Nature volume 143, page 641 (15 April 1939) | Download Citation



GLUCURONIC acid, within recent years, has been shown to be a compound of considerable biological importance. Besides playing an important part in the detoxication mechanisms of the body, this carbo-hydrate derivative is also an essential component of certain immuno-polysaccharides1. It is found in many mucoproteins2 and may be a component of the blood anti-coagulant, heparin3; furthermore, certain sex hormones of human pregnancy urine are found combined with glucuronic acid4. Investigations on the chemical nature and biological function of these substances, which will also involve synthetic experiments, will be greatly facilitated if glucuronic acid is obtainable in relatively large amounts. A convenient chemical synthesis of glucuronic acid, such as exists for galacturonic acid5, is not available. The main source of it has been biological, advantage being taken of its function in the mammal as a detoxicating agent.

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  1. 1.

    Ann. Review Biochem., 6, 103 (1937).

  2. 2.

    See , "Hexosamines and Mucoproteins" (London, 1925).

  3. 3.

    Ann. Reports Chem. Soc., 34, 294 (1937).

  4. 4.

    Ann. Review Biochem., 7, 273, 279 (1937).

  5. 5.

    and , J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 60, 1813 (1938).

  6. 6.

    , J. Biol. Chem., 74, 331 (1927).

  7. 7.

    , Biochem. J., 32, 1849 (1938).

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  1. Physiology Department, Medical School, Hospitals Centre, Birmingham, 15. March 8.



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