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glucuronic acid[¦glü·kyə¦rän·ik ′as·əd]
one of the uronic acids, COH(CHOH)4COOH; it is formed in the body from glucose when the latter is oxidized by a primary alcohol group. It is optically active and dissolves readily in water. Melting point, 167°-172° C. D-glucuronic acid is widespread in the animal and vegetable worlds and is a component of acid mucopolysaccharides, some bacterial polysaccharides, triterpenoid saponins, hemicellulose, and gums. Free glucuronic acid is found in blood and urine in small quantities. Certain metabolic products, including some toxic products (phenol and cresol), as well as many medications, are discharged with the urine in the form of sister compounds of glucuronic acid (glucuronides). Conversions of glucuronic acid in all animals except the monkey and guinea pig, as well as in humans, lead to the biosynthesis of ascorbic acid. Body fluids and tissues of animals (especially the liver, kidneys, and spleen, and also malignant tumors) and bacterial and plant tissues contain the enzyme β-glucuronidase, which catalyzes the hydrolysis of β-glucuronides to free glucuronic acid and the corresponding aglycon.
G. A. SOLOV’EVA