Friday, August 19, 2016

Glycoproteins: Definition and functions

Glycoproteins occur in fungi, green plants, viruses, bacteria and in higher animal cells where they serve a variety of functions. They are presents in extra- and intracellular fluids, connective tissue and cell membranes.

Glycoproteins together with glycolipids constitute the family of glycoconjugates, a term introduced in 1972. The structural glycoproteins are protein having one or more heterosaccharides chains. The protein moiety is quantitatively the most important constituent.

Connective tissue glycoproteins, such as the collagens and proteoglycans of various animal species, are structural elements as are the cell wall glycoproteins of yeast and green plants.

The class of glycoproteins includes a large number of biologically active substances such as enzymes, hormones, and immunoglobulins as well as structured components of blood vessels and skin. The protein in milk and egg white contain carbohydrates as do most of the serum proteins.

The diverse biological functions that these macromolecules perform, include among others, enzymatic catalysis, hormonal control, immunological protection, ion transport, blood clotting, lubrication, surface protection, structural support, cell adhesion, intercellular interaction.
Glycoproteins: Definition and functions
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