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Monday, April 09, 2012

Monday's Molecule #`165

Name this molecule. You don't need the full IUPAC name but you do need to be specific since there are several different molecules with very similar structures. You also have to tell us why this molecule is important in biochemistry.

Post your answer in the comments. I'll hold off releasing any comments for 24 hours. The first one with the correct answers wins. I will only post correct answers to avoid embarrassment. The winner will be treated to a free lunch.

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 kanamycin C (not A or B). It binds to the small subunit of the prokaryotic ribosome and inhibits translation. It is/was widely used in cloning experiments since there are several plasmids with kanamycin resistance alleles. I posted all three of the responses that recognized kanamycin but only one named this variant as kanamycin C. That person didn't mention that this was a translation inhibitor so there are no winners this week.

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
March 12: Bill Chaney, Raul A. Félix de Sousa
March 19: no winner
March 26: John Runnels, Raul A. Félix de Sousa
April 2: Sean Ridout
April 10: no winner


  1. Kanamycin (2-(aminomethyl)- 6-[4,6-diamino-3- [4-amino-3,5-dihydroxy-6-(hydroxymethyl) tetrahydropyran-2-yl]oxy- 2-hydroxy- cyclohexoxy]- tetrahydropyran- 3,4,5-triol). Kanamycin is an aminoglycoside antibiotic, available in oral, intravenous, and intramuscular forms, and used to treat a wide variety of infections. Kanamycin is isolated from the bacterium Streptomyces kanamyceticus and used in form of the sulfate.

  2. I think it is kanamycin. Not an undergraduate (but not a chemist), just wanted to make sure you got some answers, so that the Monday molecule lives on!

  3. Kanamycin c, one of the aminoglycoside antibiotics.

    For biochemists/molecular biologists it is useful as a selective agent for expression vector plasmids bearing the neo resistance gene.