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Glucuronic acid (from Greek γλυκερός - "sweet") is a carboxylic acid. Its structure is similar to that of glucose. However, glucuronic acid's sixth carbon is oxidized to a carboxylic acid. Its formula is C6H10O7.
The salts of glucuronic acid are known as glucuronates; the anion C6H9O7− is the glucuronate ion.
Glucuronic acid should not be confused with gluconic acid, a linear carboxylic acid resulting from the oxidation of a different carbon of glucose. Both Glucuronic Acid and Gluconic Acid are reported to be found in the fermented drink known as Kombucha. Glucuronic acid has been attributed with the mildly-alcoholic effect that drinking the tea has for some.
Glucuronic acid is highly soluble in water. In the animal body, glucuronic acid is often linked to substances such as drugs, pollutants, bilirubin, androgens, estrogens, mineralocorticoids, glucocorticoids, fatty acid derivatives, retinoids, and bile acids. These linkages involve O-glycosidic bonds, and this linkage process is known as glucuronidation. Glucuronidation occurs mainly in the liver, although the enzyme responsible for its catalysis, UDP-glucuronyltransferase, has been found in all major body organs, e.g., heart, kidneys, adrenal gland, spleen, and thymus. UDP-glucuronic acid (glucuronic acid linked via a glycosidic bond to uridine diphosphate) is an intermediate in the process and is formed in the liver.
The substances resulting from glucuronidation are known as glucuronides (or glucuronosides) and are typically much more water-soluble than the non-glucuronic acid-containing substance from which they were originally synthesised. The human body uses glucuronidation to make a large variety of substances more water-soluble, and, in this way, allow for their subsequent elimination from the body upon urination. Hormones may also be glucuronidated to allow for easier transport around the body. Pharmacists also commonly link drugs to glucuronic acid to allow for easier drug delivery.
Glucuronidases are those enzymes that hydrolyze the glycosidic bond between glucuronic acid and some other compound.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Glucuronic_acid". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|