Complex Carbohydrates: Structure and Function

by Kevin Ahern, PhD

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    Not all carbohydrates are simple sugars. Nutritionists tell us that eating complex carbohydrates is an essential part of our daily diet. In this talk, I will go through some of the simple modifications that happen to carbohydrates, and the higher order structures of the complex carbohydrates. I will discuss links of carbohydrates to lipids and finally conclude with proteins linked to complex carbohydrates. Now I start the talk here talking about glycosides, glycosides are modified sugars as can be seen here. So first of all I start with beta-D-glucose, a simple sugar. If I take the anomeric hydroxyide of beta glucose which is shown on the right part of the molecule and I combine it with a 10 carbon alcohol, I can create in this case, a glycoside known as beta-D-decylglucose. A glycoside is a sugar that has had its anomeric hydroxide modified. Sucrose is a good example of a glycoside. It's also an unusual example of a glycoside in the fact that it is a disaccharide that actually has two glycosidic bonds, I refer to it as a di-glycoside. We can see those two glycosidic bonds in the structure of sucrose as shown here. Now sucrose is comprised of one molecule of glucose linked to one molecule of fructose. The linkage is between carbons one and two which causes some funky things with respect to structure as we shall see. Glucose is numbered one through six in a clockwise fashion as you can see here. Fructose is normally numbered one through six in a clockwise fashion, but to make it fit on the slide, fructose was flipped causing the structure to be seen here. Nevertheless, the anomeric carbon number two was linked to the anomeric hydroxide on carbon number one of glucose to make a di-glycoside. Most disaccharide sugars...

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Complex Carbohydrates: Structure and Function by Kevin Ahern, PhD is from the course Biochemistry: Basics. It contains the following chapters:

    • Glycosides & Disaccharides
    • Polysaccharides
    • Lipid Links
    • Glycosaminoglycans
    • Protein Links
    • Peptidoglycans
    • Proteoglycans

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. ...always contain a sugar.
    2. ...always contain nitrogen.
    3. ...always are linear in structure.
    4. ...always flip back and forth between alpha and beta forms.
    1. Glucose and Fructose...
    2. ...two glucoses
    3. ...galactose and glucose.
    4. ...two fructoses.
    1. ...lactose.
    2. ...maltose.
    3. ...sucrose.
    4. ...lactase.
    1. ...amylose has α-1,4 linkages and cellulose has β-1,4 linkages.
    2. ...cellulose is more branched than amylose.
    3. ...amylose contains α-1,6 linkages and cellulose contains α-1,4 linkages.
    4. ...cellulose does not contain glucose.
    1. ...is a branched polymer containing only glucose.
    2. ...is an oligosaccharide.
    3. ...is a polymer of glucose with only α-1,4 linkages.
    4. ...is the same as amylopectin.
    1. ...is a sphingolipid containing a single sugar.
    2. ...contains glycerol.
    3. ...is a glycerolphospholipid containing a complex sugar.
    4. ...is a sphingolipid containing a complex sugar.
    1. ...in the lipid bilayers of nerve cells.
    2. ...in the cytoplasm of cells.
    3. ...in the membranes of liver cells.
    4. ...in LDLs.
    1. ...using a polymer of a polyanionic disaccharide unit.
    2. ...starting with a sphingolipid backbone.
    3. ...starting with a glycerophospholipid backbone.
    4. ...from amino acid polymers.
    1. ...asparagine.
    2. ...serine.
    3. ...threonine.
    4. ...glutamine.
    1. ...bacterial cell walls.
    2. ...nerve cells.
    3. ...plants.
    4. ...connective tissue.

    Author of lecture Complex Carbohydrates: Structure and Function

     Kevin Ahern, PhD

    Kevin Ahern, PhD

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    Great lecture!
    By Kirsten D. on 10. February 2017 for Complex Carbohydrates: Structure and Function

    Very helpful lecture! Very detailed, the slides are clear, and I felt the material was presented at a nice pace. I'm very grateful he explained why humans are able to digest amylose but not cellulose. Thank you, Dr. Ahern!