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Amylopectin

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Definition

noun, plural: amylopectin

A polysaccharide made up of highly-branched polymer of alpha-glucose units, and is a major component of starch apart from amylose


Supplement

An amylopectin is a type of polysaccharide. It is made up of a polymer of alpha-glucose units and linked linearly with α(1→4) glycosidic bonds, as well as α(1→6) bonds occurring at intervals of 24 to 30 glucose subunits. This means that the 1-carbonof a glucose subunit is linked to the 4-carbon of the next glucose subunit via a glycosidic bond. It is one of the two major types of carbohydrates found in starch (the other is amylose).

The amylopectin is a highly branched carbohydrate and it is water-soluble. Its solubility is due to the many end points at which the enzymes can attach. This makes amylopectin different from amylose. The amylose is relatively not as soluble. The amylose also has few to none α(1→6) bonds, which occur every 24 to 30 glucose subunits. Thus, compared with amylose, amylopectin can be hydrolyzed more readily, more soluble, and with lower density.

In animals, the amylopectin is similar in composition and structure. It occurs in glycogen (which is regarded by others as the animal starch). Similar to starch, the glycogen is a complex carbohydrate that stores excess glucose. The difference between the amylopectin in plants and the amylopectin in animals, the latter has more extensive branching, which occurs every 8 to 12 glucose units.


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