Meaning Behind the Word: Pentose

A pentose is a monosaccharide sugar containing five carbon atoms.


The word pentose holds significance in the realm of biochemistry and carbohydrate chemistry.


The term pentose is derived from two components:

  • penta: Meaning five in Greek.
  • ose: A suffix commonly used in chemistry to denote sugars.

Structural Importance

Pentoses play crucial roles in various biological processes, such as:

  • Forming the backbone of nucleic acids like DNA and RNA.
  • Serving as energy sources in cellular metabolism.

Types of Pentoses

Common examples of pentoses include:

  • Ribose: Found in RNA and certain coenzymes.
  • Deoxyribose: Present in DNA.


The study of pentoses is vital in understanding the molecular basis of life and has implications in fields such as genetics, biochemistry, and pharmaceuticals.