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A large important class of sugar derivatives in which the sugar is combined with a nonsugar. In their cyclic forms, monosaccharides (simple sugars) possess one carbon (C) atom (the anomeric carbon) that is bonded to two oxygen (O) atoms; one oxygen atom forms a part of the ring, whereas the other is outside the ring (exocyclic) and is part of a hydroxyl (OH) group. If the oxygen atom of the anomeric hydroxyl group becomes bonded to a carbon atom, other than that of a carbonyl (C ═ O) group, the resulting compound is a glycoside. A glycoside thus consists of two parts (see illustration): the sugar (glycosyl) unit, which provides the anomeric carbon, and the moiety (the aglycon), which is the source of the exocyclic oxygen and carbon atoms of the glycosidic linkage. Such compounds frequently are referred to as O-glycosides to distinguish them from analogs having a sulfur (thio- or S-glycosides), nitrogen (amino- or N-glycosides), or carbon (anomalously called C-glycosides) as the exocyclic atom on the anomeric carbon. See Monosaccharide

The formation of glycosides is the principal manner in which monosaccharides are incorporated into more complex molecules. For example, lactose (illus. b), the most abundant disaccharide in mammalian milk, has a glycosidic bond involving the anomeric carbon of d -galactose and the C-4 hydroxyl of d -glucose. The anomeric carbon atom can exist in either of two stereoisomeric configurations, a fact which is of immense importance to the chemistry and biochemistry of glycosides. For example, the principal structural difference between cellulose and amylose is that cellulose is β-glycosidically linked whereas amylose is α-linked. Humans are able to digest amylose but are unable to utilize cellulose for food. See Cellulose, Lactose

Structural formulas of two glycosidesenlarge picture
Structural formulas of two glycosides

A very large number of glycosides exist in nature, many of which possess important biological functions. In many of these biologically important compounds the carbohydrate portion is essential for cell recognition, the terminal sugar units being able to interact with specific receptor sites on the cell surface.

One class of naturally occurring glycosides is called the cardiac glycosides because they exhibit the ability to strengthen the contraction of heart muscles. These cardiotonic agents are found in both plants and animals and contain complex aglycons, which are responsible for most of the drug action; however, the glycoside may modify the biological activity. The best-known cardiac glycosides come from digitalis and include the drug digoxin.

Glycosidic units frequently are found in antibiotics. For example, the important drug erythromycin A possesses two glycosidically linked sugar units. See Antibiotic

Perhaps the most ubiquitous group of glycosides in nature is the glycoproteins; in many of them carbohydrates are linked to a protein by O-glycosidic bonds. These glycoproteins include many enzymes, hormones, such antiviral compounds as interleukin-2, and the so-called antifreeze glycoproteins found in the sera of fish from very cold marine environments. See Amino acids, Carbohydrate, Enzyme, Glycoprotein, Hormone

Glycolipids are a very large class of natural glycosides having a lipid aglycon. These complex glycosides are present in the cell membranes of microbes, plants, and animals. See Glycolipid, Lipid

McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Bioscience. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


A compound that yields on hydrolysis a sugar (glucose, galactose) and an aglycon; many of the glycosides are therapeutically valuable.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Yontem seciminde hangi kanser tipinin arastirilacagi, hangi hucre tipine bakilacagi, genetik anormalliklerin olup olmadigi, o kanser dokusunun belli bir gelisimsel zamana ve dokuya ozgu olup olmadigina, hedef bir genin uzaysal ve zamansal ifadesinin kontrolu yapilip yapilmayacagina, tumorun mikrocevresine ve metastaz potansiyeli gibi faktorler goz onunde bulundurulmalidir.
(22) oral hucre karsinomalarinda CELSR3 gen metilasyon profilini HRM yontemiyle analiz etmislerdir ve bu genin %86 yuksek metilasyon profiline sahip oldugunu belirlemislerdir.
Genin duzenleyici bolgesinde meydana gelen patolojik epigenetik degisiklikler de gen fonksiyonunda bozulmaya yol acarak kanser gelisimine yol acmaktadir.
Alkaptonuri, aromatik aminoasit olan tirozin ve fenilalaninin indirgenmesinde onemli rol oynayan homogentisate 1,2-dioksijenaz enziminin uretiminden sorumlu olan genin mutasyonu sonucu gelisen nadir bir kalitsal metabolik bozukluktur.
The authors thank Helene Genin, technical director; Agathe Moly, quality manager; Pierre-Henri Chabot, cellar master, and all the Chateau Latour staff for the setup and following of the trials.
In Pass Christian, restaurateur Thomas Genin has opened a small steakhouse on the first floor of Hotel Whiskey, his new boutique hotel.
kromozomun uzun kolunda konumlu (9q34.1) LMX1B genin mutasyonu ile karakterize, otozomal dominant gecisli genetik bir hastaliktir.
Agents: Veronika Genin, William B May; Iris Li, Rutenberg (pictured).
Head to Rue du Bac -- it's my go-to destination for patisseries and chocolateries by some amazing producers, including Jacques Genin (try his passion fruit & mango caramels), Du Gateaux et du Pain (they make wonderful croissants), and La Patisserie des Reves for decadent Paris-Brest (a ring of choux pastry filled with praline cream).