Polysaccharides

Structure and features of common polysaccharides

 Biology  biochemistry

starchglycogencellulosechitin
typestoragestoragestructuralstructural
structuremixture of amylose (linear chains of glucose) and amylopectin (branched chains of glucose)similar to amylopectin but more branched and compactunbranched polymer of beta-glucoseunbranched polyaccharide of N-acetylglucosamine
bondingalpha 1,4 glycosidic bondsalpha 1,4 and alpha 1,6 glycosidic bondsbeta 1,4 glycosidic bondsbeta 1,4 glycosidic bonds
cross-linksnone (other than the 1,6 glycosidic bonds) at branches. However, can be 'modified' (with different types of cross-linking) to have other properties such as glue or biodegradable films.none (other than the 1,6 glycosidic bonds) at brancheshydrogen bonds with neighbouring chainsmore hydrogen bonds with neighbouring chains than cellulose
physical propertiesinsoluble (minimising osmotic effect on cell)insoluble (minimising osmotic effect on cell)strong supporting material permeable to waterflexible and tough, can be combined with calcium carbonate for rigidity
foundenergy store of plantsanimals (liver, muscle)plant cell wallsexoskeleton of arthropods
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Polysaccharides are polymers consisting of chains of monosaccharide or disaccharide units.

Further reading: http://www.rpi.edu/dept/bcbp/molbiochem/MBWeb/mb1/part2/sugar.htm



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