Guluronic acid is derived from gulose, where the aldehyde group on C1 is replaced by a carboxylic group. In most animals and plants, guluronic acid exists in the form of γ-lactone. L-guluronic acid can be converted to L-ascorbic acid by oxidative dehydrogenation in some animals, but the enzyme that catalyzes this conversion is not available in humans. There is also a metabolic pathway that L-guluronic acid converts to D-xylulose, and the intermediate metabolite L-xylulose can be detected in the urine of patients with pentosuria.
Fig.1 Chemical structure of L-guluronic acid. (Wikipedia)
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Fig.2 Different choices for guluronic acid metabolism analysis. (CD BioGlyco)
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