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Biological Functions of...

Tue Jul 07, 2009 3:20 pm


I was hoping someone could help me with the biological functions of Carbohydrates...

I know that Monosaccharides are for use as fuel but what would be another function?
Discaccharides are used to synthesize larger carbohydrates but what would be a second function?
and last Polysaccharides are energy storage molecules in animals but I need two more functions.

Any help is greatly appreciated! :)

Wed Jul 08, 2009 2:59 am

monosaccharides can also be alosteric regulators (think of fructose 1,6-bisphosphate in glycolysis) and so can disaccharides (think of lactose in the lac operon). Polysaccharides have a structural role in the cell wall of plants (cellulose) and fungi (poly-N-acetylglucosamine), they are important for cell adhesion (in cell junctions), they are important in the immune system (a lot of antigens are actually sugar molecules) etc.

Re: Biological Functions of...

Wed Jul 08, 2009 3:39 pm

Thank you very much, that makes more sense ;) I have a bad habit of over thinking things

Wed Jul 08, 2009 5:20 pm

Just wanted to add that proteins incorporate many sugars for signaling purposes: either glycoproteins or proteoglycans. For example: Secretory vesicles in the Golgi cisterna use mostly mannose, galactose, and NAG (N-Acetlyglucosamine) to make the necessary glycoproteins for export.

Oh, and all those glycoproteins and glucosamines in the extracelluar matrix: albeit mucus!!!! :mrgreen:
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