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Monday, March 12, 2012

Monday's Molecule #161

Some species make this molecule for a very special reason. Identify the molecule using the common name and the IUPAC name. You must also say why it's important for some species.

Post your answer in the comments. I'll hold off releasing any comments for 24 hours. The first one with the correct answer wins. I will only post correct answers to avoid embarrassment. The winner will be treated to a free lunch with a famous Nobel Laureate, or with me if the Nobel Laureate isn't available.

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.)

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!)

In order to win you must post your correct name. Anonymous and pseudoanonymous commenters can't win the free lunch.

Winners will have to contact me by email to arrange a lunch date.

Comments are invisible for 24 hours. Comments are now open.

UPDATE: The molecule is taurocholate (2-{[(3α,5β,7α,12α)-3,7,12-trihydroxy-24-oxocholan-24-yl]amino}ethanesulfonate). Taurocholate is a bile salt in mammals. This week's winners are Bill Chaney and Raul A. Félix de Sousa.

Nov. 2009: Jason Oakley, Alex Ling
Oct. 17: Bill Chaney, Roger Fan
Oct. 24: DK
Oct. 31: Joseph C. Somody
Nov. 7: Jason Oakley
Nov. 15: Thomas Ferraro, Vipulan Vigneswaran
Nov. 21: Vipulan Vigneswaran (honorary mention to Raul A. Félix de Sousa)
Nov. 28: Philip Rodger
Dec. 5: 凌嘉誠 (Alex Ling)
Dec. 12: Bill Chaney
Dec. 19: Joseph C. Somody
Jan. 9: Dima Klenchin
Jan. 23: David Schuller
Jan. 30: Peter Monaghan
Feb. 7: Thomas Ferraro, Charles Motraghi
Feb. 13: Joseph C. Somody
March 5: Albi Celaj


  1. taurocholate, or 2-{[(3α,5β,7α,12α)-3,7,12-trihydroxy-24-oxocholan-24-yl]amino}ethanesulfonate

    It is a bile salt in mammals, synthesized by the liver, stored in the gall bladder, and secreted into the duodenum to act as a detergent to aid in the solubilization of dietary fats for lipolysis.

  2. Taurocholic acid, a bile acid which emulsifies fats in mammals :)

  3. Oh, and the IUPAC name is 2-{[(3α,5β,7α,12α)-3,7,12-trihydroxy-24-oxocholan-24-yl]amino}ethanesulfonic acid

  4. Taurocholic acid

    2-{[(3α,5β,7α,12α)-3,7,12-trihydroxy-24-oxocholan-24-yl]amino}ethanesulfonic acid

    Helps in the solubilization of fats.

  5. Raul A. Félix de SousaMonday, March 12, 2012 6:30:00 PM

    Molecule # 161 is taurocholic acid, or 2-{[(3α,5β,7α,12α)-3,7,12-trihydroxy-24-oxocholan-24-yl]amino}ethanesulfonic acid. As a bile acid, it is used by mammals to emulsify fats.

  6. Taurocholic acid, a bile salt to aid in absorption of dietary fats. IUPAC name (copied from Wikipedia) 2-{[(3α,5β,7α,12α)-3,7,12-trihydroxy-24-oxocholan-24-yl]amino}ethanesulfonic acid.

  7. 2-{[(3α,5β,7α,12α)-3,7,12-trihydroxy-24-oxocholan-24-yl]amino}ethanesulfonic acid, or taurocholic acid. It is a bile acid, although I'm doubtful that this is interesting enogh to be the answer you want.

  8. CAS Number 81-24-3
    Each of the bile salts has many names. Here are some for this molecule:Taurine,N-choloyl- (8CI); Cholane, ethanesulfonic acid deriv.; 3a,7a,12a-Trihydroxy-5b-cholanic acid-24-taurine; Cholaic acid; Cholic acid taurine conjugate;Cholyltaurine; N-Choloyltaurine; NSC 25505; Taurocholic acid;

    This has general use as a Bile salt where it is an emulsifier for dietary fats. This particular molecule is also externally "made" by humans as a food additive (it is an emulsifying agent there also)