Terpenes and Terpenoids: Isoprene Rule

There are thousands of chemical compounds in nature. They are divvied up into categories or classifications. These include hormones, alkaloids, vitamins, neurotransmitters, enzymes, proteins, and nucleic acids. One group of chemicals follows a structure rule called the isoprene rule. Many every day substances are part of this group. One example is turpentine. Another is beta-carotene (the source of the orange color in carrots). Chemicals such as these derived from isoprene are called terpenoids. Structure and Statement of the Isoprene Rule Isoprene consists of carbon and hydrogen. But it is not limited to single bonds. See the image of isoprene (C5H8) featured with this article. The double lines stand for double bonds. Since the carbon pairs involved have two bonds rather than one, a hydrogen atom is missing from each of them.…
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