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Unit 3 – Structure and

Function of Cells

Carbohydrates

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Carbohydrates
Macromolecules
Are large molecules composed of smaller
molecules
Are complex in their structures
Most macromolecules are polymers, built from
monomers
A polymer
Is a long molecule consisting of many similar
building blocks called monomers

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Three classes of biological molecules are polymers
Carbohydrates
Proteins
Nucleic acids
Each class of polymer
Is formed from a specific set of monomers

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The Synthesis and Breakdown
of Polymers
Monomers form larger molecules by condensation
reactions called dehydration reactions with the
removal of water

HO 1 2 3 H HO H

Short polymer Unlinked monomer

Dehydration removes a water


H2O
molecule, forming a new bond

HO 1 2 3 4 H
Longer polymer
(a) Dehydration reaction in the synthesis of a polymer

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Polymers can disassembled by
Hydrolysis

HO 1 2 3 4 H

Hydrolysis adds a water


H2O
molecule, breaking a bond

HO 1 2 3 H HO H
(b) Hydrolysis of a polymer

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Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are composed of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen
Carbohydrates serve as source of energy and building material to
provide support to cells and organisms
Carbohydrates
Include both sugars and their polymers
3 main classes of carbohydrates are:
monosaccharides
disaccharides
polysaccharides

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Monosaccharides
Are the simplest sugars
Can be used for fuel/energy
Can be converted into other organic molecules
Can be combined into polymers
Usually have a backbone of 3 – 7 carbon atoms
Most of these carbon atoms have both a
hydrogen and a hydroxyl group attached to them
Have a chemical formula of (CH2O)n; n is the
number of carbons in the backbone

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Examples of monosaccharides
Triose sugars Pentose sugars Hexose sugars
(C3H6O3) (C5H10 O5) (C6H12 O6)

H O H O H O H O
C C C C
H C OH H C OH H C OH H C OH
Aldoses

H C OH H C OH HO C H HO C H
H H C OH H C OH HO C H

H C OH H C OH H C OH
Glyceraldehyde
H H C OH H C OH
Ribose H H
Glucose Galactose

H H H
H C OH H C OH H C OH

C O C O C O

H C OH H C OH HO C H
Ketoses

H H C OH H C OH

Dihydroxyacetone H C OH H C OH

H H C OH
Ribulose H
Fructose

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Monosaccharides
May be linear
Can form rings when dissolved in water to form
structural isomers eg. α and β glucose
H O
1C CH2OH
6 6
CH2OH
2 CH2OH
H C OH 5C O H 5
C O 6
H H H H H O
HO
3
C H
5 H
H H H
4
C 1
C 4
C 1
C 4 1
4 OH H OH H OH
H C OH O HO 3 2 OH
OH OH OH
5 3 C 2
C 3
C 2
C
H C OH
H OH
6 H OH H OH
H C OH

(a) Linear and ring forms. Chemical equilibrium between the linear and ring
structures greatly favors the formation of rings. To form the glucose ring,
carbon 1 bonds to the oxygen attached to carbon 5.

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Monosaccharides
Glucose is the most common monosaccharide in living
organisms and is a building block for many
polysaccharides
Glucose has 6 carbons with the chemical formula of
C6H12 O6
Fructose (honey, fruits) and galactose (milk) are
isomers of glucose having the same chemical formula
but different structural formula
Glucose can be broken down by cell respiration to
release energy or may be linked by condensation to
produce disaccharides and polysaccharides
The carbon skeleton of glucose can also be used as a
raw material to be converted to other kinds of biological
molecules.

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Disaccharides
Disaccharides
Consist of two monosaccharides joined by a glycosidic linkage/bond through
condensation reaction
Eg. of disaccharides:
Maltose – malt sugar (glucose + glucose)
Lactose – milk sugar (glucose + galactose)
Sucrose – energy storage in sugarcane and sugar beet (glucose + fructose)

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Disaccharides

Act as source of energy


A form which can be transported eg
sucrose in plants
Water-soluble
Sweet

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Examples of disaccharides
(a)

Dehydration reaction CH2OH CH2OH CH2OH CH2OH


in the synthesis of
maltose. The bonding O O O O
of two glucose units H H H H H H 1– 4 H H
forms maltose. The H H H 1 glycosidic 4 H
glycosidic link joins OH H OH H OH H linkage OH H
the number 1 carbon OH HO OH
HO OH HO OH
of one glucose to the O
number 4 carbon of
the second glucose. H OH H OH H OH H OH
Joining the glucose
monomers in a H2O
different way would
Glucose Glucose Maltose
result in a different
disaccharide.

CH2OH CH2OH
CH2OH CH2OH
O O O O
H H H H H 1–2 H
H H glycosidic 2
1
H linkage
(b) OH H HO OH H H HO
OH HO
Dehydration reaction HO CH2OH HO O CH2OH
in the synthesis of
sucrose. Sucrose is
a disaccharide formed H OH OH H H OH OH H
from glucose and fructose.
Notice that fructose,
H2O
though a hexose like
Glucose Fructose Sucrose
glucose, forms a
five-sided ring.

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Reducing and non-reducing sugars
Monosaccharides – glucose, fructose and
galactose – reducing sugars
Disaccharides – maltose and lactose – reducing
sugars
Sucrose – non-reducing sugar
Reducing sugars have carbonyl groups which can
be oxidized to carboxylic acids with the addition of
oxygen
Benedict’s reagent is reduced by reducing sugars
to produce a brick red precipitate
Sucrose must first be hydrolyzed with diluted acid
to release monosaccharides that give a positive
result with Benedict’s reagent

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Polysaccharides
Polysaccharides
Are polymers of monosaccharides held together by glycosidic bonds
Are insoluble
Serve many roles in organisms
2 types of polysaccharides :
Storage polysaccharides – starch and glycogen
Structural polysaccharides – cellulose

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Storage Polysaccharides
Starch
Is a polymer consisting entirely of α-glucose monomers
Found as energy storage in plant especially in roots and seeds
Made up of two types of molecules:
Amylose (80%) – linear, unbranched consisting of α-glucose units joined together
by 1,4 – glycosidic linkages
Amylopectin (20%) – branched structure formed by 1,6 glycosidic linkages

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Is the major storage form of glucose in plants
Chloroplast Starch grains

1µ m

Amylose Amylopectin

(a) Starch: a plant polysaccharide

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Starch is an ideal energy storage molecule
because it is:
Easily hydrolyzed to monosaccharides
Compact
Insoluble – does not disrupt the osmotic
pressure within cells

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Glycogen
A polymer consisting of α-glucose monomers
Is the major energy storage in animals especially in
the muscles and liver
Is a highly branched structure with a greater degree of
branching created by 1,6 glycosidic linkages
Very similar to amylopectin

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Glycogen – energy storage in animals
Mitochondria
Giycogen granules

0.5 µ m

Glycogen

(b) Glycogen: an animal polysaccharide


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Structural Polysaccharides
Cellulose
Is a polymer of β-glucose units held together by 1,4 glycosidic linkages
Made up of long, unbranched chains forming microfibrils which are held
together by hydrogen bonds to form strong cellulose fibres
Used to make paper, cellophane, dialysis membranes, cotton clothes etc.

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Has different glycosidic linkages than starch

H O
CH2O C CH2O
H H
O H C OH H O OH
H H
H H
4
OH H HO C H 4 1
OH H
HO OH HO H
H C OH
H OH C H OH
H OH
α glucose H C OH β glucose

(a) α and β glucose ring structures


CH2O CH2O CH2O CH2O
H H H H
O O O O
1 4 1 4 1 4 1
OH OH O OH O OH O
HO O

OH OH OH OH

(b) Starch: 1– 4 linkage of α glucose monomers


CH2O CH2O
OH OH
H H
O O
O OH O OH
OH 1 4 O OH
HO OH
O O
CH2O CH2O
OH OH
H H
(c) Cellulose: 1– 4 linkage of β glucose monomers
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Is a major component of the tough walls
that enclose plant cells

About 80 cellulose
Cellulose microfibrils molecules associate
in a plant cell wall Microfibril to form a microfibril, the
Cell walls main architectural unit
of the plant cell wall.


0.5 µ m

Plant cells

CH2OH OH CH2OH OH
O O O O
OH OH OH OH
O O O O O
OH CH2OH OH CH2OH Cellulose
CH2OH OH CH2OH OH molecules
O O O
OH O OH OH OH
Parallel cellulose molecules are O O O O O
OH CH2OH OH CH2OH
held together by hydrogen
bonds between hydroxyl CH2OH OH CH2OH OH
O O O O
groups attached to carbon OH OH
O OH O O
OH O
atoms 3 and 6. O A cellulose molecule
OH CH2OH OH CH2OH
is an unbranched β
β Glucose glucose polymer.
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monomer
Cellulose is difficult to digest
Cows have microbes in their stomachs
to facilitate this process

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Chitin, another important structural
polysaccharide
Is found in the exoskeleton of arthropods
such as insects
Can be used as surgical thread
CH2O
HO
H OH
H
OH H
OH H
H NH
C O
CH3

(a) The structure of the (b) Chitin forms the exoskeleton (c) Chitin is used to make a
chitin monomer. of arthropods. This cicada strong and flexible surgical
is molting, shedding its old thread that decomposes after
exoskeleton and emerging the wound or incision heals.
in adult form.

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