Dictionary > Glycosaminoglycan

Glycosaminoglycan

Definition
noun
(biochemistry) The polysaccharide unit of proteoglycan
Supplement
Glycosaminoglycans are the polysaccharide components of proteoglycans. They are polymers of acidic disaccharides containing derivatives of the amino sugars glucosamine or galactosamine. They are found primarily on cell surfaces and in the extracellular matrix. They are polar molecules and therefore attract water. They serve as a lubricant or as a shock absorber in the body, such as in the joints. They are also involved in cell migration in a way that their rigid structure provides a passageway between cells.
Hyaluronate is an example of glycosaminoglycans. They are found in the synovial fluid, articular cartilage, vitreous humor, etc. They are large polymers and are efficient as the body’s shock absorber. Another glycosaminoglycan is chondroitin sulfate. The latter is found in the cartilage, bone, and heart valves. It is regarded as the most abundant glycosaminoglycan. It is sulfated and composed of alternating sugars, N-acetylgalactosamine and glucuronic acid. Heparan sulfate is also a glycosaminoglycan. It occurs in the basement membranes and on the surfaces of the cell. It may bind to various protein ligands and regulates different biological activities, e.g. angiogenesis and blood coagulation. Heparin is a glycosaminoglycan component of intracellular granules of mast cells. They are also found in the linings of the arteries of the lungs, liver, and skin.1
Abbreviation: GAG
Also called:

  • mucopolysaccharide

See also:

  • proteoglycan
  • polysaccharide
  • Reference(s):

    1 Glycosaminoglycans. Retrieved from ://themedicalbiochemistrypage.org/glycans.php.


    You will also like...

    bryophyte - sporophyte and gametophyte
    Meiosis and Alternation of Generations

    Plants are characterized by having alternation of generations in their life cycles. This tutorial is a review of plant m..

    river
    Running Water Freshwater Communities

    This tutorial introduces flowing water communities, which bring new and dithering factors into the equation for possible..

    "Cronopio dentiacutus", a prehistoric mammal (an illustration)
    Mammalian Ancestors

    Mammals are a diverse group of organisms, where most of them develop their offspring within the uterus of the mother. Ov..

    The process of photosynthesis
    Photosynthesis – Photolysis and Carbon Fixation

    Photosynthesis is the process that plants undertake to create organic materials from carbon dioxide and water, with the ..

    complete-dominance
    Dominance

    This tutorial presents Gregor Mendel's law of dominance. Learn more about this form of inheritance and how it can be pre..

    Genetic Mutations
    Chromosome Mutations – II

    This tutorial is a continuation of the first lesson on chromosomal mutation. Here, find out the chromosomal aberrations ..