The crystal structures of two nucleosides, 5-carbamoylmethyluridine (1) and 5-carboxymethyluridine (2), were determined from three-dimensional x-ray diffraction data, and refined to R = 0.036 and R = 0.047, respectively. Compound 1 is in the C3'-endo conformation with chi +5.2 degrees (anti), psiinfinity = +63.4 degrees and psialpha = +180.0 degrees (tt); 2 is in the C2'endo conformation with chi +49.4 degrees (anti), psiinfinity -60.5 degrees and psialpha +60.0 degrees (gg). For each derivative, the plane of the side chain substituent is skewed with respect to the plane of the nucleobase; for 1, the carboxamide group is on the same side of the uracil plane vis a vis the ribose ring; for 2, the carboxyl group is on the opposite side of this plane. No base pairing is observed for either structure. Incorporation of structure 1 into a 3'-stacked tRNA anticodon appears to place 08 within hydrogen bonding distance of the 02' hydroxyl of ribose 33, which may limit the ability of such a molecule of tRNA to "wobble".