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Systematic (IUPAC) name
PubChem         17106
Chemical data
Formula C6H12O5 
Molar mass 164.16
Complete data

Fucose is a hexose deoxy sugar with the chemical formula C6H12O5. It is found on N-linked glycans on the mammalian, insect and plant cell surface, and is the fundamental sub-unit of the fucoidan polysaccharide. Alpha1→3 linked core fucose is a suspected carbohydrate antigen for IgE-mediated allergy.[1]

Two structural features distinguish fucose from other six-carbon sugars present in mammals: the lack of a hydroxyl group on the carbon at the 6-position (C-6) and the L-configuration. It is equivalent to 6-deoxy-L-galactose.

In the fucose-containing glycan structures, fucosylated glycans, fucose can exist as a terminal modification or serve as an attachment point for adding other sugars.[2]

Fucose is metabolized by an enzyme called alpha-fucosidase.


  1. File:Free review.png Daniel J. Becker (2003). "Fucose: biosynthesis and biological function in mammals". Glycobiology. 13: 41R–53R. PMID 12651883. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (help); Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  2. Free text.png Daniel J. Moloney (1999). "The O-linked fucose glycosylation pathway: identification and characterization of a uridine diphosphoglucose: fucose-[beta]1,3-glucosyltransferase activity from Chinese hamster ovary cells". Glycobiology. 9: 679–687. PMID 10362837. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (help); Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)