What is Moiety? Definition, Types, and Examples

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Moiety Definition

In general, a moiety (plural: moieties) refers to half or one of two roughly equal halves of anything. It can also refer to an indeterminate fraction or component of a whole, as in the case of the legal word moiety. It refers to one of the two halves of property ownership in this case.

The term “moiety” is derived from the Old French word “meitiet” (French moitié). This was taken from Latin medietas, which means “half” (from medius, which means “middle,” “half”). Example sentence: Deoxyribose is the sugar moiety of the DNA backbone. Half is a synonym for moiety. Whole is antonym of moiety.

What is Moiety?

A moiety is a major half of a molecule in organic chemistry and biology, not a fragment. In biology, moieties are defined by the halves of a biomolecule. The moieties, on the other hand, may or may not be equal halves of a whole. A moiety in archaeology and anthropology refers to one of the two descend groups from a split culture. Nonetheless, the two groups are coexisting.

Moiety, Moiety Definition, What is Moiety,

A moiety, for example, might refer to one of a tribal family’s halves. This moiety of a unilateral kinship system might be patrilineal (father’s side) or matrilineal (mother’s side). An active moiety is the portion of a molecule or ion that is responsible for a drug’s therapeutic or physiologic effect in medical science and pharmacology.

Moiety vs Functional Group

A moiety is a component of a molecule’s or compound’s chemical structure that may include a substructure, such as a functional group. Benzyl acetate, for example, contains both an acetyl and a benzyl alcohol molecule. A part of the functional group is included in each moiety of benzyl acetate.

As a result, using moiety as a synonym for “functional group” might be misleading and inapplicable in some cases, such as this one. Some functional groups may take up the whole “half” of a molecule, whereas others are merely a portion of the larger moiety. Some moieties may include several functional groups.

Moiety Examples

Many biological substances include acyls, which are biochemical moieties. Carbonyl and alkyl are the two components of an acyl. Acetyl is an example of an acyl. Acetyl is a carbonyl moiety that comprises a methyl group. Acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter, and acetyl-CoA, a metabolic substrate, both contain it.

Aromatic hydrocarbons are organic molecules with a six-carbon ring that include the benzene component. Phospholipids are lipid molecules that are found in almost all cellular membranes. Because it contains both hydrophobic and hydrophilic moieties, it is an amphiphilic molecule.

The fatty acid tails are hydrophobic, whereas the hydrophobic moiety is the glycerol head with a phosphate linked to it. Glycolipids are another essential component of biological membranes. Glycolipids are molecules that are made up of two parts: carbohydrate and lipid.

A covalent connection binds the two components together. The biomolecule hemoglobin is found in red blood cells. Heme is made up of the oxygen-carrying, nonprotein ferrous component heme and the protein moiety globin.

Moiety Citations
  • RNA insertion in DNA as the imprint moiety: the fission yeast paradigm. Curr Genet . 2019 Dec;65(6):1301-1306.
  • Recent Advances for the Direct Introduction of the CF 2 Me Moiety. Front Chem . 2019 Mar 4;7:111.
  • Gold Drugs with {Au(PPh 3 )} + Moiety: Advantages and Medicinal Applications. ChemMedChem . 2020 Nov 18;15(22):2136-2145.
  • Figures are created with BioRender.com
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