ID #1487

In the lecture today on carbohydrates we talked about what fructose 1,6 bisphosphate is. And the reason that it is bis is because the two phosphates are attached to different positions on the molecule. But I was looking online to make sure the usage of bis and di, and I found a website that shows a picture of fructose 1,6 diphosphate as the same as fructose 1,6 bisphosphate. I was wondering if you can look at the website and see if it's correct.

In one sense, it's a matter of semantics, but it is standard to distinguish a diphosphate group from a bisphosphate molecule by identifying whether or not the phosphates are attached to each other. Diphosphate implies that the phosphate groups are covalently linked to each other; bisphosphate implies that the phosphate groups are linked to different places on the "parent" molecule. So while I wouldn't go so far as to say that the web site you found is incorrect, I would definitely say it's not as specific as it should be.

And I'm very glad you brought this type of discrepancy to my attention. When you find something like this and it could possibly impact an assignment or homework problem, always go with the way it was presented in class. If I find out I said something incorrect, I'll let everyone in the class know. The bottom line is, sometimes I'm wrong, sometimes the other source is wrong, and sometimes I have intentionally left out some of the details to make the concept easier to understand the first time you're exposed to it. There will be plenty of time in later classes to fill in those blanks -- trust me!

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