Terminology and the Naming of Conjugates based on Polymers or other Substrates

Provisional Recommendations are drafts of IUPAC recommendations on terminology, nomenclature, and symbols, made widely available to allow interested parties to comment before the recommendations are finally revised and published in IUPAC’s journal Pure and Applied Chemistry.


Abstract: A number of human activities require that certain complex molecules, referred to as active species (drugs, dyes, peptides, proteins, genes, radioactive labels, etc.), be combined with substrates, often a macromolecule, to form temporary or permanent conjugates. The existing IUPAC organic, polymer, and inorganic nomenclature principles can be applied to name such conjugates but it is not always appropriate. These nomenclatures have two major shortcomings: 1) the resulting names are often excessively long and 2) identification of the components (substrate, active species, and link) can be difficult. The new IUPAC naming system elaborates rules for unambiguous and facile naming of any conjugate. This naming system is not intended to replace the existing nomenclature but to provide a suitable alternative when dictated by necessity. Although the rules are intended to be primarily applicable to the naming of polymer conjugates, they are also applicable to naming conjugates with other substrates, which include micelles, particles, minerals, surfaces, pores, etc. The naming system should be used when recognition of the substrate and active substance is essential and will also be useful when constraints of name length make the otherwise preferred IUPAC nomenclatures untenable. The proposed rules for the new naming system are complemented by a glossary of relevant terms.

Keywords: conjugate, active species, substrate, support, carrier, conjugation, pharmacologically active conjugate, drug delivery, biologically active conjugate, protein-based conjugate

Access full text – return comments to the corresponding author: Michel Vert <michel.vert@umontpellier.fr>

Comments by 30 November 2021

See all  Provisional Recommendations currently under review.