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Systematic (IUPAC) name
PubChem         17106
Chemical data
Formula C6H12O5 
Molar mass 164.16
Complete data

Fucose is a hexose deoxy sugar with the chemical formula C6H12O5. It is found on N-linked glycans on the mammalian, insect and plant cell surface, and is the fundamental sub-unit of the fucoidan polysaccharide. Alpha1→3 linked core fucose is a suspected carbohydrate antigen for IgE-mediated allergy.[1]

Two structural features distinguish fucose from other six-carbon sugars present in mammals: the lack of a hydroxyl group on the carbon at the 6-position (C-6) and the L-configuration. It is equivalent to 6-deoxy-L-galactose.

In the fucose-containing glycan structures, fucosylated glycans, fucose can exist as a terminal modification or serve as an attachment point for adding other sugars.[2] In human N-linked glycans, fucose is most commonly linked alpha 1-6 to the reducing terminal beta-N-acetlyglucosamine. However, fucose at the non-reducing termini linked alpha 1-2 to galactose forms the H antigen, the substructure of the A and B blood group antigens.

Fucose is metabolized by an enzyme called alpha-fucosidase.


  1. ^ Daniel J. Becker; John B. Lowe (July 2003). "Fucose: biosynthesis and biological function in mammals". Glycobiology 13: 41R–53R. PMID 12651883.
  2. ^ Daniel J. Moloney; Robert S. Haltiwanger (July 1999). "The O-linked fucose glycosylation pathway: identification and characterization of a uridine diphosphoglucose: fucose-[beta]1,3-glucosyltransferase activity from Chinese hamster ovary cells". Glycobiology 9: 679–687. PMID 10362837.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Fucose". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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