• Ryan J. Huxtable
Part of the Biochemistry of the Elements book series (BOTE, volume 6)


Sulfonation is the transfer of SO3 whereas sulfation is the transfer of SO4 2−. Thus, although the sulfur-containing product of the reaction shown in Equation 7-1 is a sulfate, the process by which it is made is a sulfonation. At the risk of confusion, it should be pointed out that although RO·SO3H is the sulfate of the alkane, RH, it can also be trivially named as the sulfonate of the alkanol, ROH. However, traditional misuse of nomenclature by biochemists has led to compounds of the form RO·SO3H being named as the sulfates of the alkanol, ROH. Thus, sulfonates of galactose are inaccurately but irredeemably called galactose sulfates, and compounds such as tyrosine O-sulfate and dopamine 3-sulfate (Figure 7-1) are equally malchristened. In this chapter and the next, I have chosen to avoid confusion rather than embrace consistency, and have reluctantly retained recognizable but erroneous names, rather than pepper the text with such unfamiliar forms as deoxygalactose sulfate or galactose sulfonate.


Hyaluronic Acid Bile Salt Heparan Sulfate Chondroitin Sulfate Dermatan Sulfate 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ryan J. Huxtable
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Arizona Health Sciences CenterTucsonUSA

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