Homopolysaccharides contain only a single type of monomeric unit; heteropolysaccharides contain two or more different kinds of monomeric units ( Fig. ). Homopolysaccharides are polysaccharides composed of a single type of sugar monomer. For example, cellulose is an unbranched homopolysaccharide made. Carbohydrate – Heteropolysaccharides: In general, heteropolysaccharides ( heteroglycans) contain two The major heteropolysaccharides include the connective-tissue polysaccharides, the blood group substances, Homopolysaccharides.

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In general, heteropolysaccharides heteroglycans contain two or more different monosaccharide units.

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Although a few representatives contain three or more different monosaccharides, most naturally occurring heteroglycans contain only two different ones and are closely associated with lipid or protein. The complex nature of these substances has made detailed structural studies extremely difficult. The major heteropolysaccharides include the connective-tissue polysaccharides, the blood group substances, glycoproteins combinations of carbohydrates and proteins such as gamma globulinand glycolipids combinations of carbohydrates and lipidsparticularly those found in the central nervous system of animals and in a wide variety of plant gums.

The most important heteropolysaccharides are found in the connective tissues of all animals and include a group of large molecules that vary in size, shape, and interaction with other body substances. They have a structural role, and the structures of individual connective-tissue polysaccharides are related to specific animal functions; hyaluronic acid, for example, the major component of joint fluid in animals, functions as a lubricating agent and shock absorber. The connective-tissue heteropolysaccharides contain acidic groups uronic acids or sulfate groups and can bind both water and inorganic metal ions.

They can also play a role in other physiological functions; e. Ion-binding ability also appears to be related to the anticoagulant activity of the heteropolysaccharide heparin.

Chapter 11 : Carbohydrates

The size of the carbohydrate portion of glycoproteins such as gamma globulin or hen-egg albumin is usually between five and 10 monosaccharide units; several such units occur in some glycoprotein molecules. The function of the carbohydrate component has not yet been established except for glycoproteins associated with cell surfaces; in this case, they appear to act as antigenic determinants—i.

In general, monosaccharides are prepared by breakdown with acids of the polysaccharides in which they occur. The techniques employed for separation of monosaccharides depend to some extent on their physical and chemical properties; chromatographic procedures are often used. Oligosaccharides and polysaccharides are prepared from natural sources by techniques that take advantage of size, alkaline stability, or some combination of these and other properties of the molecule of interest.

It should be noted that preparation of an oligosaccharide or polysaccharide usually results in a range of molecular sizes of the desired molecule.

The purity of a carbohydrate preparation, which is homopokysaccharides based on an analysis of its compositionis more easily established for monosaccharides and disaccharides than for large, insoluble yomopolysaccharides such as cellulose. A variety of organic chemical analytical techniques are generally applicable to studies involving carbohydrates.

Optical rotation, for example, once was frequently used to characterize carbohydrates. Optical rotation is no longer widely used to characterize heteropolysacchsrides. Optical rotation is not a completely additive property; a trisaccharide composed of three glucose residues, for example, does not have a rotation three times that of one glucose molecule.

Sugar alcohols cannot form ring structures; their rotation values are extremely small, suggesting a relationship between ring structure and the ability of a carbohydrate to rotate the plane of polarized light. Certain types of reactions e. This technique is frequently used to examine the breakdown of disaccharides or oligosaccharides to monosaccharide units, especially if a large change in the net optical rotation may be expected, as occurs in the wnd of sucrose.


Several other optical techniques used in chemistry have been applied to the analysis of carbohydrates. Infrared spectroscopyused to measure vibrational and rotational excitation of molecules, and nuclear magnetic-resonance spectroscopywhich measures the excitation of certain components of molecules in a magnetic field induced by radio-frequency radiation, are valuable, although the similarity of the functional groups i.

Proton magnetic-resonance spectroscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance applied to protons H atomsis employed to identify the relative spatial arrangements of individual hydrogen atoms in a molecule.

When they are precisely placed, the corresponding homopolyzaccharides of the hydroxyl groups attached to the same carbon atom can be deduced. An extension of this technique utilizes the resonance spectroscopy of carbon, a nonradioactive isotope of carbon, so that ring structures can be established with great accuracy.

Both the proton and carbon magnetic resonance methods are best applied to monosaccharides; they are less valuable in studying polysaccharides because an homopolysacccharides hydrogen atom homopolysaccharidess a large molecule is too small for accurate detection. The study of polysaccharide structure usually focuses on the chemical composition, the linkage between the monosaccharide units, and the size and shape of the molecule.

The size and shape of a polysaccharide can be ascertained heteroploysaccharides techniques that are usually applied to large molecules; e.

Indications of the shape of polysaccharide molecules in solution are obtained from viscosity measurements, in which ajd resistance of the molecules to flow viscosity is equated with the end-to-end length of the molecule; the viscosity of hyaluronic acid, for example, shows a marked dependence on both concentration of the acid heteropolysaccharidea the salt content of the solution, and, under conditions approximating those found in biological systems, a hyaluronic acid molecule may be thought of as occupying a great deal of space.

Alternatively, the compact nature of a glycogen molecule of molecular weight equal to that of a molecule of hyaluronic acid results in its accommodation to a much smaller space than the latter molecule. The identification of sugars in a mixture resulting from the hydrolytic breakdown of a heteropolysaccharide is most often carried out by chromatography of the mixture on paper, silica gelor cellulose.

Ready separations can be achieved between pentoses, hexoses and, for example, deoxy sugars; closely related compounds such as d -glucose and d -galactose also can be separated using chromatographic techniques.

The linkage positions in polysaccharides are usually determined using the methylation procedure described previously. The various monosaccharide methyl ethers produced by the methylation are separated by gas—liquid chromatography.

Detailed statements about polysaccharide structure and function are limited by the statistical nature of some measurements e. We welcome suggested improvements to any of our articles. You can make it easier for us to review and, hopefully, publish your contribution by keeping a few points in mind. Your contribution may be further edited by our staff, and its publication is subject to our final approval. Unfortunately, our editorial approach may not be able to accommodate all contributions.

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Please note that our editors may make some formatting changes or correct spelling or grammatical errors, and may also contact you if any clarifications are needed. Heteropolysaccharides In general, hheteropolysaccharides heteroglycans contain two or more different monosaccharide units.


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Fungi can readily absorb and metabolize a variety of soluble carbohydrates, such as glucose, heteropolysacchqrides, sucrose, and fructose.

Exopolysaccharides Production by Lactic Acid Bacteria

Fungi are also characteristically well equipped to use insoluble carbohydrates such as starches, cellulose, and hemicelluloses, as well as very…. A simple carbohydrate formed in the algal layer eventually is excreted, taken up by the mycobiont, and transformed into a different carbohydrate. The release of carbohydrate by the phycobiont and its conversion by the mycobiont occur rapidly.

Whether the heteropolysacchaides influences the release of carbohydrate by the…. High-carbohydrate diets, for example, may actually increase cardiovascular risk for some individuals, such as those prone heteropokysaccharides metabolic syndrome or type 2 diabetes.

Chemical composition of living matter blood composition In blood: Nutrition cell membrane In membrane cortical cells In cortex diabetes mellitus In diabetes mellitus human digestive process In human digestive system: Carbohydrates enzyme system In vitamin: Functions glycogen In glycogen human body In human body: Chemical composition of the body View More. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students.

Help us improve this article! Contact our editors with your feedback. Introduction General features Classification and nomenclature Biological significance Role in the biosphere Role in human nutrition Role in energy storage Role in plant and animal structure Structural arrangements and properties Stereoisomerism Configuration Hemiacetal and hemiketal forms Classes of carbohydrates Monosaccharides Sources Chemical reactions Formation of glycosides Formation of methyl ethers Disaccharides and oligosaccharides Sucrose and trehalose Lactose and maltose Polysaccharides Homopolysaccharides Heteropolysaccharides Preparation and analysis Analytical techniques Spectroscopic techniques Identification of subunits.

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