Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday's Molecule #146

Give me the complete, unambiguous, name of the molecule to win a free lunch with me.1 Post your answer in the comments. I'll hold off releasing any comments for 24 hours. The first one with the correct answer wins.

There could be two winners. If the first correct answer isn't from an undergraduate student then I'll select a second winner from those undergraduates who post the correct answer. You will need to identify yourself as an undergraduate in order to win. (Put "undergraduate" at the bottom of your comment.) Every undergraduate who posts a correct answer will have their names entered in a Christmas draw. The winner gets a free autographed copy of my book! (One entry per week. If you post a correct answer every week you will have ten chances to win.)

Some past winners are from distant lands so their chances of taking up my offer of a free lunch are slim. (That's why I can afford to do this!)

Name the molecule shown in the figure. Remember that your name has to be unambiguous. The best way to do this is to use the full IUPAC name but usually there are traditional names that will do.

UPDAYE: The winner is DK.

1. Or with Johnny Depp or Angelina Jolie, depending on who's available on a given day.


  1. It is pretty obvious what it is - Glu and Lys linked together but I had to google to find out what it interesting about it to justify knowing what it is.

    It is saccharopine or N-[(5S)-5-amino-5-carboxypentyl]-L-glutamic acid.

    I must say that I don't really regret not knowing what it is. Maybe you can upload your image to English Wikipedia because it has wrong structure shown right now. :-)

  2. is it EDTA (Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid)?


  3. Hi, I'm going to have a go:

    (5-amino-5-carboxypentyl) aspartic acid

    any good?

    this was a fun morning!

  4. Larry-

    It is L-Saccharopine, the first intermediate in lysine catabolism.

    The IUPAC name is N6-(L-1,3-Dicarboxypropyl)-L-lysine.

    Best wishes,

    Bill Chaney

  5. The molecule is (S)-2-(5-amino-5-carboxypentylamino)pentanedioic acid or L-Saccharopine.

    Kind Regards

  6. L-saccharopine is correct. The correct IUPAC name is N-[(5S)-5-amino-5-carboxypentyl]-L-glutamic acid.

    DK got it first and he/she is the winner.