Carbohydrate Chemistry - National Open University of Nigeria

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NATIONAL OPEN UNIVERSITYOF NIGERIA
COURSE CODE:CHM 315
COURSE TITLE:CARBOHYDRATE CHEMISTRY
1
Course Code
CHM 315
Course Title
Carbohydrate Chemistry
Course Developer/Writer
Dr. I. A. Ogunwande
Faculty of Science
Department of Chemistry
Lagos State University, Ojo,
Lagos, Nigeria
Course Editor
Prof. KEHINDE Obidairo
Dean School of Science and Technology
National Open University of Nigeria
Victorial Island , Lagos.
Programme Leader
Prof. PETERS Olufemi
Director Academic Planning
National Open University of Nigeria
Victorial Island , Lagos.
Course Coordinator
Dr. ALETAN Uduak
School of Science and Technology
National Open University of Nigeria
Victorial Island , Lagos.
2
Introduction
Carbohydrate chemistry is a semester course which is part of the courses designated as part of
the requirements for the award of B.Sc Chemistry
What you will learn in this Course
The course consists of units and a course guide. The course guide is primarily a simple
description of what the course is made up of, the materials to be used and how you can work
with these materials. In addition, it advocates some general guidelines for the time you are likely
to spend on each unit of the course in order to complete it successfully.
Also, you find in it your Tutor Marked Assignment which will be made available in the
assignment file. Moreover, there are regular tutorial questions and classes that will assist in the
better understanding of the course. You are advised to make yourselves available during the
tutorial classes.
Course Aims
The aim of the course is to provide a basic understanding of the basic nature of chemical
materials and the emerging trend. In addition, it seeks to address the massive drive to understand
these materials and improve their properties in order to meet material requirements.
Course Objectives
To achieve the set aims, the course has a set of objectives. Each of the unit contained in a
specific module has stated objectives which are included at the beginning of the particular unit.
A clearer understanding of each of the objectives is a prerequisite for the better comprehension
of the contents of the unit. It is highly essential to reflect, as you work through each unit, on the
objectives.
The main objectives of the course are listed below. By meeting these objectives, you should have
achieved the aims for which the course has been studied. At the end of this course, you should be
able to:
i. Know what carbohydrates are
ii. Understand the different classifications of carbohydrates
iii. Give various examples of monosacchades, disaccharides and polysaccharides
iv. Describe chemical properties of carbohydrates
v. State the forms in which these carbohydrates occur naturally
3
Working through this Course
In order to be able to successfully complete this course, you are required to carefully study each
unit along with recommended textbooks and other materials that may be provided by the
National Open University. You may also need to exploit other e-reading such internet for further
useful information on the course.
Each unit contains self assessment exercise and at certain points in the course you would be
required to submit assignment for grading and recording purposes. You are also to participate in
the final examination at the end of the course. It is recommended that you devote an abundant
time for reading and comprehension. It is highly necessary that you avail yourselves the
opportunity of attending the tutorial sessions where you will be able to compare your
understanding of the course contents with your colleagues.
The Course Materials
The main components of this course are:
1. The Course Guide
2. Study Units
3. Self Assessment Exercise
4. Tutor Marked Assignments
5. Further Readings
Study Unit
The study units in this course are as follows:
Module 1
Carbohydrates
Unit 1
Unit 2
Forms of Carbohydrates
Chemical properties of Carbohydrates
Module 2
Monosaccharides
Unit 1
Unit 2
Structures of Monosaccharides
Derivatives of Monosaccharides
Module 3
Disaccharides
Unit 1
Diversity of Disaccharides
Module 4
Polysaccharides
Unit 1
Unit 2
Homopolysaccharides
Heteropolysaccharides
4
The first unit addresses the forms of carbohydrates. It focuses on classification, importance and
forms of carbohydrates. The second unit described in details the different chemical properties of
carbohydrates. The third unit is primarily concerned with the structures of monosaccharides. The
fourth unit addresses the derivatives of monosaccharides and their characteristics. The fifth unit
deals with the diversity of disaccharides. The sixth unit explains the structures and functions of
homopolysaccharides. The seventh unit enumerated the various examples of
heteropolysaccharides and their structures and significance.
Each of the unit is made up of one or two weeks’ work consisting of introduction, objectives,
reading materials, self assessment exercise, conclusion, summary and Tutor marked Assignment
(TMA), suggestion for further reading and source materials. The unit directs you to work on
exercises related to the required reading. Together with the TMAs, they are meant to test your
basic understanding and comprehension of the course materials, which is a prerequisite for the
achieving the stated aims and objectives of the course.
Presentation Schedule
The course materials have important dates for the timely completion and submission of your
TMAs and tutorial lessons. You are vividly reminded of the need to promptly submit answers to
tutorials and assignments as at when due.
Assessment
The course assessment consists of three aspects namely the self assessment exercise, the tutor
marked assignment and the written examination/end of course examination.
It is essential that you attempt all exercises and assignments and submit appropriately to the
course facilitator for grading. Let your answers be concise and as accurate as possible. You are
expected to consult other material course in addition to your course materials in order to be able
to present accurate answers to the questions. Kindly note that the tutor marked assignment covers
only 30% of the total marked for the course.
Tutor Marked Assignment (TMA)
The TMA is a continuous assessment component of your course. It accounts for 30% of the total
score. You will be given five (5) TMAs to answer. Three of these must be answered before you
are allowed to sit for the end of the course examination. The TMAs will be given to you by your
facilitator and returned after you have done the assignment. Note that these assignments are
already contained in the assignment file to be given to you. You may do yourself good by
reading and researching well before you attempt to answer the questions.
You are warned to submit these assignments to the facilitator at the stipulated time as could be
seen in the assignment file. However, if for any reason you are unable to meet the deadline, you
are highly required to intimate the facilitator of your problem before the due date and seek for an
extension which may be granted or not.
5
Final Examination and Grading
The end of the course examination for Colour Chemistry and Technology will be for about 3
hours with maximum score value of 70% of the total course work. The examination will be made
up of questions which normally reflect on what you have learnt in the course materials/further
reading. In addition, they may be prototype of the self assessment exercises and the TMAs. The
end of the course examination is intended to cover information from all parts of the course.
Avail yourself the opportunity of the time-lag between the completion of the course content and
the beginning of the examination to revise as much as possible the whole course materials, the
exercise and assignments.
Course Marking Scheme
Assignment
Assignments 1-5
End of course Examination
Total
Marks
Five assignments, best three marks of the
five count at 10% each i.e. 30% of the
course marks
70% of overall course marks
100% of the course materials
Facilitators/Tutors and Tutorials
There are 17 hours of tutorials provided in support of this course. You will be informed
appropriately of the name, telephone number and e-mail address of your facilitator. In addition,
the time, dates and location of the tutorial lessons will be communicated beforehand. You are
required to mail or submit your Tutor Marked Assignment to your facilitator, at least two
working days, before the schedule date. Note that all the submitted assignments will be duly
marked by the facilitator with further comments that can improve on your performances. The
facilitator will from time to time takes track record of your comprehension, progress and
difficulty in the course.
Be kind enough to attend tutorial lessons at the fixed appointment. It is probably the only avenue
to meet face to face and discuss with you facilitator. There, you will be able to ask question or
seek clarification on seemingly grey area in the course material. You may as well have prepared
questions and comments for your facilitator before the due date. An active participation during
the tutorial lessons will be an added advantage to boost confidence level.
In case any of the situations listed below arises, do not hesitate to intimate your facilitator using
his or her telephone number or via e-mail address;
. You do not understand any part of the study or the assigned readings
. You are not skill enough to attempt the self assessment exercise
6
. The questions in the TMAs are not clearly understood
Summary
Carbohydrate chemistry is a course which is intended to provide students with the nature and
classes of carbohydrates. Upon completion of this course, you will be highly equipped to answer
questions below and related ones:
. What do carbohydrates represent?
. What are the different type, chemical nature and features of carbohydrates?
. Know different classification of carbohydrates
. Identify the examples of monosaccharide, disaccharides and polysaccharides.
. Discuss the structures of named examples of carbohydrates
Accept my best wishes in the course and I do hope that you benefit considerably from its
application.
CONTENTS
PAGE
Introduction……………………………………………………….
1
What you will Learn in this Course……………………………….
1
Course Aims……………………………………………………….
1
Course Objectives…………………………………………………
1
7
Working though this Course……………………………………..
2
The Course Material………………………………………………
2
Study Unit………………………………………………………..
2
Presentation Schedule…………………………………………….
3
Assessment………………………………………………………..
3
Tutor Marked Assignment………………………………………..
3
Final Examination and Grading…………………………………
4
Course Marking Scheme………………………………………….
4
Facilitators/Tutors and Tutorials………………………………….
4
Summary…………………………………………………………..
5
Module 1: Carbohydrates
Unit 1: Forms of Carbohydrates
8
Page
1.0
Introduction………………………………………………………………….
2
2.0
Objectives……………………………………………………………………
2
3.0
Definition of Carbohydrate…………….……………………………………
2
3.1
Importance of Carbohydrates …………..………………………………….
2
3.2
Classification of Carbohydrates....................................................................
2
3.2
Ketoses……………………………………………................................…..
3
3.3
Anomeric forms of Glucose..……………................……………….............
3
3.4
Cyclic forms of Sugars…………………………………..............................
5
4.0
Conclusion…………………………………………………………………
7
5.0
Summary……………………………………………………………………
7
6.0
Tutor Marked Assignment…………………………………………………..
7
7.0
Further Reading……………………………………………………………..
7
1.0 Introduction
Carbohydrates consist of the elements carbon (C), hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O) with a ratio of
hydrogen twice that of carbon and oxygen. Carbohydrates include sugars, starches, cellulose and
many other compounds found in living organisms. Carbohydrates are called saccharides or, if
they are relatively small, sugars.
9
2.0 Objectives
At the end of this unit, students should be able to
i. Define carbohydrates
ii. State the importance of carbohydrates
iii. Classify carbohydrates using different bases
iv. Identify the various forms and structures of carbohydrates
3.0 Definition of Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are the main energy source for the human body. Chemically, carbohydrates are
organic molecules in which carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen bond together in the ratio: Cx(H2O)y,
where x and y are whole numbers that differ depending on the specific carbohydrate.
3.1 Importance of Carbohydrates
The carbohydrates are a major source of metabolic energy, both for plants and for animals that
depend on plants for food. Aside from the sugars and starches that meet this vital nutritional role,
carbohydrates also serve as a structural material (cellulose), a component of the energy transport
compound ATP, recognition sites on cell surfaces, and one of three essential components of
DNA and RNA.
3.2 Classification of Carbohydrates
Several classifications of carbohydrates have proven useful, and are outlined in the following
table.
Complexity
Size
Simple Carbohydrates
monosaccharides
Tetrose
C4 sugars
Pentose
C5 sugars
Complex Carbohydrates
disaccharides, oligosaccharides
and polysaccharides
Hexose
C6 sugars
Heptose
C7 sugars
etc.
C=O
Function
Aldose
sugars having an aldehyde function or an acetal equivalent.
Ketose
sugars having a ketone function or an acetal equivalent.
Reactivity
Reducing
sugars oxidized by Tollen’s reagent (or Benedict's or Fehling's
reagents).
Non-reducing
10
sugars not oxidized by Tollens' or other reagents.
3.3 Ketoses
If a monosaccharide has a carbonyl function on one of the inner atoms of the carbon chain it is
classified as a ketose. Dihydroxyacetone may not be a sugar, but it is included as the ketose
analog of glyceraldehyde. The carbonyl group is commonly found at C-2, as illustrated by the
following examples (chiral centers are colored red). As expected, the carbonyl function of a
ketose may be reduced by sodium borohydride, usually to a mixture of epimeric products.
D-Fructose, the sweetest of the common natural sugars, is for example reduced to a mixture of
D-glucitol (sorbitol) and D-mannitol, named after the aldohexoses from which they may also be
obtained by analogous reduction. Mannitol is itself a common natural carbohydtrate
Although the ketoses are distinct isomers of the aldose monosaccharides, the chemistry of both
classes is linked due to their facile interconversion in the presence of acid or base catalysts. This
interconversion, and the corresponding epimerization at sites alpha to the carbonyl functions,
occurs by way of an enediol tautomeric intermediate.
Because of base-catalyzed isomerizations of this kind, the Tollens' reagent is not useful for
distinguishing aldoses from ketoses or for specific oxidation of aldoses to the corresponding
aldonic acids. Oxidation by HOBr is preferred for the latter conversion.
Self Assessment Exercise I
i. Distinguish between the following pairs;
(a) Reducing and non-reducing sugars
(b) Simple and complex carbohydrates
(c) Aldoses and Ketoses
3.4 Anomeric Forms of Glucose
Fischer's brilliant elucidation of the configuration of glucose did not remove all uncertainty
concerning its structure. Two different crystalline forms of glucose were reported in 1895. Each
of these gave all the characteristic reactions of glucose, and when dissolved in water equilibrated
to the same mixture. This equilibration takes place over a period of many minutes, and the
change in optical activity that occurs is called mutarotation. These facts are summarized in the
diagram below.
11
When glucose was converted to its pentamethyl ether (reaction with excess CH3I and AgOH),
two different isomers were isolated, and neither exhibited the expected aldehyde reactions. Acidcatalyzed hydrolysis of the pentamethyl ether derivatives, however, gave a tetramethyl derivative
that was oxidized by Tollen's reagent and reduced by sodium borohydride, as expected for an
aldehyde.
The search for scientific truth often proceeds in stages, and the structural elucidation of glucose
serves as a good example. It should be clear from the new evidence presented above, that the
open chain pentahydroxyhexanal structure drawn above must be modified. Somehow a new
stereogenic center must be created, and the aldehyde must be deactivated in the pentamethyl
derivative. A simple solution to this dilemma is achieved by converting the open aldehyde
structure for glucose into a cyclic hemiacetal, called a glucopyranose, as shown in the following
diagram. The linear aldehyde is tipped on its side, and rotation about the C4-C5 bond brings the
C5-hydroxyl function close to the aldehyde carbon. For ease of viewing, the six-membered
hemiacetal structure is drawn as a flat hexagon, but it actually assumes a chair conformation. The
hemiacetal carbon atom (C-1) becomes a new stereogenic center, commonly referred to as the
anomeric carbon, and the α and β-isomers are called anomers.
12
We can now consider how this modification of the glucose structure accounts for the puzzling
facts noted above. First, it is known that hemiacetals are in equilibrium with their carbonyl and
alcohol components when in solution. Consequently, fresh solutions of either alpha or betaglucose crystals in water should establish an equilibrium mixture of both anomers, plus the open
chain chain form.
Second, a pentamethyl ether derivative of the pyranose structure converts the hemiacetal
function to an acetal. Acetals are stable to base, so this product should not react with Tollen's
reagent or be reduced by sodium borohydride. Acid hydrolysis of acetals regenerates the
carbonyl and alcohol components, and in the case of the glucose derivative this will be a
tetramethyl ether of the pyranose hemiacetal. This compound will, of course, undergo typical
aldehyde reactions.
3.5 Cyclic Forms of Sugars
The preferred structural form of many monosaccharides may be that of a cyclic hemiacetal. Five
and six-membered rings are favored over other ring sizes because of their low angle and
eclipsing strain. Cyclic structures of this kind are termed furanose (five-membered) or pyranose
(six-membered), reflecting the ring size relationship to the common heterocyclic compounds
furan and pyran shown on the right.
13
Ribose, an important aldopentose, commonly adopts a furanose structure, as shown in the
following illustration. By convention for the D-family, the five-membered furanose ring is drawn
in an edgewise projection with the ring oxygen positioned away from the viewer. The anomeric
carbon atom (colored red here) is placed on the right. The upper bond to this carbon is defined as
beta,
the
lower
bond
then
is
alpha.
The cyclic pyranose forms of various monosaccharides are often drawn in a flat projection
known as a Haworth formula, after the British chemist, Norman Haworth. As with the furanose
ring, the anomeric carbon is placed on the right with the ring oxygen to the back of the edgewise
view. In the D-family, the alpha and beta bonds have the same orientation defined for the
furanose ring (beta is up and alpha is down). These Haworth formulas are convenient for
displaying stereochemical relationships, but do not represent the true shape of the molecules.
These molecules are actually puckered in a fashion we call a chair conformation. Examples of
four typical pyranose structures are shown below, both as Haworth projections and as the more
representative chair conformers. The anomeric carbons are colored red.
The size of the cyclic hemiacetal ring adopted by a given sugar is not constant, but may vary
with substituents and other structural features. Aldolhexoses usually form pyranose rings and
their pentose homologs tend to prefer the furanose form, but there are many counter examples.
The formation of acetal derivatives illustrates how subtle changes may alter this selectivity.
Acetal derivatives have been prepared by acid-catalyzed reactions with benzaldehyde and
acetone. As a rule, benzaldehyde forms six-membered cyclic acetals, whereas acetone prefers to
form five-membered acetals. The top equation shows the formation and some reactions of the
4,6-O-benzylidene acetal, a commonly employed protective group. A methyl glycoside
derivative of this compound leaves the C-2 and C-3 hydroxyl groups exposed to reactions such
as the periodic acid cleavage, shown as the last step. The formation of an isopropylidene acetal at
C-1 and C-2, center structure, leaves the C-3 hydroxyl as the only unprotected function.
14
Selective oxidation to a ketone is then possible. Finally, direct di-O-isopropylidene derivatization
of glucose by reaction with excess acetone results in a change to a furanose structure in which
the C-3 hydroxyl is again unprotected.
4.0 Conclusion
Carbohydrate is a one of the major classes of biomolecules. The simplest and commonest form
of carbohydrate is glucose. Sugars that possess keto group (C=O) as their functional group are
referred to as Ketoses while those that have aldehyde are called Aldoses. By convention for the
D-family, the five-membered furanose ring is drawn in an edgewise projection with the ring
oxygen positioned away from the viewer. The anomeric carbon atom (colored red here) is placed
on the right. The upper bond to this carbon is defined as beta, the lower bond then is alpha.
5.0 Summary
In this unit, we have learnt that
i. Carbohydrates consist of the elements carbon (C), hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O).
ii. Carbohydrates can be classified based on complexity, size, function and reactivity.
iii. Cyclic structures of sugars can either occur as a five-membered ring (furanose) or a sixmembered ring (pyranose).
iv. The structures of sugars can be represented in a closed form as a Fisher or Haworth projection
6.0 Tutor Marked Assignment
i. Using all criteria, outline the classes of carbohydrates
ii. With the of illustration, describe anomerism
iii. Distinguish between furanose and pyranose and give examples
7.0 Further reading
Nelson, D. L. and Cox, M. M. (2004): Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry, 4th edition.
Freeman Publisher, USA.
15
Module 1: Carbohydrates
Unit 2: Chemical Properties of Carbohydrates
Page
1.0
Introduction………………………………………………………………….
2
2.0
Objectives……………………………………………………………………
2
3.0
Reactions involving carbohydrates......……....………...…………………...
2
3.1
Oxidation..................................…………..………………………………….
2
3.2
Reduction.......................................................................................................
3
3.3
Osazone formation...................................................................................…..
4
3.4
Chain shortening and lenghtening...........................……………….............
4
16
3.4.1 Summary of these reactions.......................………........................................
5
3.5
Formation of Glycosides...............…………………………………………
6
4.0
Conclusion.…………………………………………………………………
7
5.0
Summary...........................…………………………………………………..
7
6.0
Tutor Marked Assignment....................……………………………………..
7
7.0
Further reading..............................................................................................
7
1.0 Introduction
Since carbohydrates is made up of elements which makes them a chemical compound,
carbohydrates exhibited varying chemical properties. These chemical properties exhibited by
different carbohydrates could serve as basis for the different classification such reducing and
non-reducing sugars as well as aldoses and ketoses.
2.0 Objectives
At the end of this unit, students should be able to
i. Know the reactions carbohydrates take part in.
ii. Differentiate between reducing and non-reducing sugars
iii. Know glycosides formed from carbohydrates and their examples
iv. Distinguish sugars based on their chemical properties
3.0 Reactions involving Carbohydrates
3.1 Oxidation
Sugars may be classified as reducing or non-reducing based on their reactivity with Tollens',
Benedict's or Fehling's reagents. If a sugar is oxidized by these reagents it is called reducing,
since the oxidant (Ag(+) or Cu(+2)) is reduced in the reaction, as evidenced by formation of a
silver mirror or precipitation of cuprous oxide. The Tollens' test is commonly used to detect
aldehyde functions; and because of the facile interconversion of ketoses and aldoses under the
17
basic conditions of this test, ketoses such as fructose also react and are classified as reducing
sugars.
When the aldehyde function of an aldose is oxidized to a carboxylic acid the product is called an
aldonic acid. Because of the 2º hydroxyl functions that are also present in these compounds, a
mild oxidizing agent such as hypobromite must be used for this conversion (equation 1). If both
ends of an aldose chain are oxidized to carboxylic acids the product is called an aldaric acid. By
converting an aldose to its corresponding aldaric acid derivative, the ends of the chain become
identical (this could also be accomplished by reducing the aldehyde to CH2OH, as noted below).
Such an operation will disclose any latent symmetry in the remaining molecule. Thus, ribose,
xylose, allose and galactose yield achiral aldaric acids which are, of course, not optically active.
The ribose oxidation is shown in equation ii below.
.
ii
Other aldose sugars may give identical chiral aldaric acid products, implying a unique
configurational relationship. The examples of arabinose and lyxose shown in equation iii
above illustrate this result.
18
iii
3.2 Reduction
Sodium borohydride reduction of an aldose makes the ends of the resulting alditol chain
identical, HOCH2(CHOH)nCH2OH, thereby accomplishing the same configurational change
produced by oxidation to an aldaric acid. Thus, allitol and galactitol from reduction of allose and
galactose are achiral, and altrose and talose are reduced to the same chiral alditol. A summary of
these redox reactions, and derivative nomenclature is given in the following table.
Derivatives of HOCH2(CHOH)nCHO
HOBr Oxidation
——>
HOCH2(CHOH)nCO2H
an Aldonic Acid
HNO3 Oxidation
——>
H2OC(CHOH)nCO2H
an Aldaric Acid
NaBH4 Reduction
——>
HOCH2(CHOH)nCH2OH
an Alditol
Self Assessment Exercise I
(i) Distinguish between aldonic and aldaric acid
(ii) Describe the formation of alditol
3.3 Osazone Formation
The osazone reaction was developed and used by Emil Fischer to identify aldose sugars differing
in configuration only at the alpha-carbon. The upper equation shows the general form of the
osazone reaction, which effects an alpha-carbon oxidation with formation of a bisphenylhydrazone, known as an osazone. Application of the osazone reaction to D-glucose and Dmannose demonstrates that these compounds differ in configuration only at C-2.
19
1.
2.
3.4 Chain Shortening and Lengthening
These two procedures permit an aldose of a given size to be related to homologous smaller and
larger aldoses. Thus Ruff degradation of the pentose arabinose gives the tetrose erythrose.
Working in the opposite direction, a Kiliani-Fischer synthesis applied to arabinose gives a
mixture of glucose and mannose. An alternative chain shortening procedure known as the Wohl
degradation is essentially the reverse of the Kiliani-Fischer synthesis.
1.
2.
3.4.1 Summary of these reactions
1. Ribose and arabinose (two well known pentoses) both gave erythrose on Ruff degradation.
As expected, Kiliani-Fischer synthesis applied to erythrose gave a mixture of ribose and
arabinose.
2. Oxidation of erythrose gave an achiral (optically inactive) aldaric acid. This defines the
configuration of erythrose.
20
3. Oxidation of ribose gave an achiral (optically inactive) aldaric acid. This defines the
configuration of both ribose and arabinose.
4. Ruff shortening of glucose gave arabinose, and Kiliani-Fischer synthesis applied to arabinose
gave a mixture of glucose and mannose.
5. Glucose and mannose are therefore epimers at C-2, a fact confirmed by the common product
from their osazone reactions.
6. A pair of structures for these epimers can be written, but which is glucose and which is
mannose?
In order to determine which of these epimers was glucose, Fischer made use of the inherent C2
symmetry in the four-carbon dissymmetric core of one epimer (B). This is shown in the
following diagram by a red dot where the symmetry axis passes through the projection formula.
Because of this symmetry, if the aldehyde and 1º-alcohol functions at the ends of the chain are
exchanged, epimer B would be unchanged; whereas A would be converted to a different
compound.
Fischer looked for and discovered a second aldohexose that represented the end group exchange
for the epimer lacking the latent C2 symmetry (A). This compound was L-(+)-gulose, and its
exchange relationship to D-(+)-glucose was demonstrated by oxidation to a common aldaric acid
product. The remaining epimer is therefore mannose.
3.5 Formation of Glycosides
Acetal derivatives formed when a monosaccharide reacts with an alcohol in the presence of an
acid catalyst are called glycosides. This reaction is illustrated for glucose and methanol in the
diagram below. In naming of glycosides, the "ose" suffix of the sugar name is replaced by
"oside", and the alcohol group name is placed first. As is generally true for most acetals,
glycoside formation involves the loss of an equivalent of water. The diether product is stable to
base and alkaline oxidants such as Tollen's reagent. Since acid-catalyzed aldolization is
reversible, glycosides may be hydrolyzed back to their alcohol and sugar components by aqueous
acid.
The anomeric methyl glucosides are formed in an equilibrium ratio of 66% alpha to 34% beta.
From the structures in the previous diagram, we see that pyranose rings prefer chair
conformations in which the largest number of substituents are equatorial. In the case of glucose,
the substituents on the beta-anomer are all equatorial, whereas the C-1 substituent in the alphaanomer changes to axial. Since substituents on cyclohexane rings prefer an equatorial location
21
over axial (methoxycyclohexane is 75% equatorial), the preference for alpha-glycopyranoside
formation is unexpected, and is referred to as the anomeric effect.
Glycosides abound in biological systems. By attaching a sugar moiety to a lipid or benzenoid
structure, the solubility and other properties of the compound may be changed substantially.
Because of the important modifying influence of such derivatization, numerous enzyme systems,
known as glycosidases, have evolved for the attachment and removal of sugars from alcohols,
phenols and amines. Chemists refer to the sugar component of natural glycosides as the glycon
and the alcohol component as the aglycon.
Two examples of naturally occurring glycosides and one example of an amino derivative is
presented. Salicin, one of the oldest herbal remedies known, was the model for the synthetic
analgesic aspirin. A large class of hydroxylated, aromatic oxonium cations called anthocyanins
provide the red, purple and blue colors of many flowers, fruits and some vegetables. Peonin is
one example of this class of natural pigments, which exhibit pronounced pH color dependence.
The oxonium moiety is only stable in acidic environments and the color changes or disappears
when base is added. The complex changes that occur when wine is fermented and stored are in
part associated with glycosides of anthocyanins. Finally, amino derivatives of ribose, such as
cytidine play important roles in biological phosphorylating agents, coenzymes and information
transport and storage materials.
4.0 Conclusion
Carbohydrates take part in a variety of chemical reactions as a function of their chemical
properties. These reactions include oxidation, reduction, oxazone formation and glycoside
formation. Examples of glycosides are salicin, anthocyanin and peonin.
5.0 Summary
In this unit, we have learnt that
i. When the aldehyde function of an aldose is oxidized to a carboxylic acid the product is called
an aldonic acid.
ii. If both ends of an aldose chain are oxidized to carboxylic acids the product is called an aldaric
acid.
iii. Acetal derivatives formed when a monosaccharide reacts with an alcohol in the presence of
an acid catalyst are called glycosides.
22
iv. The osazone reaction was developed and used by Emil Fischer to identify aldose sugars
differing in configuration only at the alpha-carbon.
6.0 Tutor Marked Assignment
i. Describe the formation of glycosides.
ii. Differentiate chemically between a reducing and non-reducing sugar.
iii. Write a general structure of the followimg; aldonic acid, aldaric acid and alditol.
7.0 Further reading
Nelson, D. L. and Cox, M. M. (2004): Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry, 4th edition.
Freeman Publisher, USA.
Module 2: Monosaccharides
Unit 1: Structures of Monosaccharides
Page
1.0
Introduction………………………………………………………………….
2
2.0
Objectives……………………………………………………………………
2
3.0
Classification of Monosaccharide.......………....…………………………...
2
3.1
Ring-straight chain isomerism …………..………………………………….
3
3.2
Monosaccharide Classification based on number of Atoms...........................
4
3.2
Straight and ring structure........................................................................…..
6
3.3
Stereochemistry........................................................……………….............
6
3.4
Monosaccharides in living organisms.......………........................................
7
4.0
Conclusion…………………………………………………………………
7
5.0
Summary……………………………………………………………………
7
23
6.0
Tutor Marked Assignment…………………………………………………..
7
7.0
Further reading...............................................................................................
7
1.0 Introduction
Monosaccharides are the simplest carbohydrates in that they cannot be hydrolyzed to smaller
carbohydrates. They are aldehydes or ketones with two or more hydroxyl groups. The general
chemical formula of an unmodified monosaccharide is (C•H2O)n, literally a "carbon hydrate."
Monosaccharides are important fuel molecules as well as building blocks for nucleic acids. The
smallest monosaccharides, for which n = 3, are dihydroxyacetone and D- and L-glyceraldehyde.
2.0 Objective
At the end of this study, should be able to
i. Know the classes of monosaccharide
ii. Understand the importance of monosaccharides
iii. Identify isomers and enantiomers of monosaccharides
3.0 Classification of monosaccharides
Monosaccharides are classified according to three different characteristics:
i. the placement of its carbonyl group
ii. the number of carbon atoms it contains
iii. its chiral handedness.
If the carbonyl group is an aldehyde, the monosaccharide is an aldose; if the carbonyl group is a
ketone, the monosaccharide is a ketose. Monosaccharides with three carbon atoms are called
trioses, those with four are called tetroses, five are called pentoses, six are hexoses, and so on.
These two systems of classification are often combined. For example, glucose is an aldohexose
(a six-carbon aldehyde), ribose is an aldopentose (a five-carbon aldehyde), and fructose is a
ketohexose (a six-carbon ketone).
24
Each carbon atom bearing a hydroxyl group (-OH), with the exception of the first and last
carbons, are asymmetric, making them stereocenters with two possible configurations each (R or
S). Because of this asymmetry, a number of isomers may exist for any given monosaccharide
formula. The aldohexose D-glucose, for example, has the formula (C·H2O)6, of which all but two
of its six carbons atoms are stereogenic, making D-glucose one of 24 = 16 possible
stereoisomers. In the case of glyceraldehyde, an aldotriose, there is one pair of possible
stereoisomers, which are enantiomers and epimers. 1,3-dihydroxyacetone, the ketose
corresponding to the aldose glyceraldehyde, is a symmetric molecule with no stereocenters). The
assignment of D or L is made according to the orientation of the asymmetric carbon furthest
from the carbonyl group: in a standard Fischer projection if the hydroxyl group is on the right the
molecule is a D sugar, otherwise it is an L sugar. The "D-" and "L-" prefixes should not be
confused with "d-" or "l-", which indicate the direction that the sugar rotates plane polarized
light. This usage of "d-" and "l-" is no longer followed in carbohydrate chemistry.
The α and β anomers of glucose.
Note the position of the hydroxyl group (red or green) on the anomeric carbon relative to the
CH2OH group bound to carbon 5: they are either on the opposite sides (α), or the same side (β).
3.1 Ring-straight chain isomerism
The aldehyde or ketone group of a straight-chain monosaccharide will react reversibly with a
hydroxyl group on a different carbon atom to form a hemiacetal or hemiketal, forming a
heterocyclic ring with an oxygen bridge between two carbon atoms. Rings with five and six
atoms are called furanose and pyranose forms, respectively, and exist in equilibrium with the
straight-chain form.
During the conversion from straight-chain form to the cyclic form, the carbon atom containing
the carbonyl oxygen, called the anomeric carbon, becomes a stereogenic center with two possible
configurations: The oxygen atom may take a position either above or below the plane of the ring.
The resulting possible pairs of stereoisomers are called anomers. In the α anomer, the -OH
25
substituent on the anomeric carbon rests on the opposite side (trans) of the ring from the CH2OH
side branch. The alternative form, in which the CH2OH substituent and the anomeric hydroxyl
are on the same side (cis) of the plane of the ring, is called the β anomer. Because the ring and
straight-chain forms readily interconvert, both anomers exist in equilibrium. In a Fischer
Projection, the α anomer is represented with the anomeric hydroxyl group trans to the CH2OH
and cis in the β anomer.
Self Assessment Exercise I
i. With the aid of appropriate examples, define the following
(a) Aldopentose (b) Ketohexose (c) Aldotetrose
ii. Distiguish between alpha and beta anomer
3.2 Monosaccharide classifications based on the number of carbons
Number
of
Carbons
Category
Name
Examples
4
Tetrose
Erythrose, Threose
5
Pentose
Arabinose, Ribose, Ribulose, Xylose, Xylulose, Lyxose
6
Hexose
Allose, Altrose, Fructose, Galactose, Glucose, Gulose, Idose,
Mannose, Sorbose, Talose, Tagatose
7
Heptose
Sedoheptulose, Mannoheptulose
Many saccharide structures differ only in the orientation of the hydroxyl groups (-OH). This
slight structural difference makes a big difference in the biochemical properties, organoleptic
properties (e.g., taste), and in the physical properties such as melting point and Specific Rotation
(how polarized light is distorted). A chain-form monosaccharide that has a carbonyl group
(C=O) on an end carbon forming an aldehyde group (-CHO) is classified as an aldose. When the
carbonyl group is on an inner atom forming a ketone, it is classified as a ketose.
Tetroses
26
D-Erythrose D-Threose
Pentoses
D-Ribose
D-Arabinose D-Xylose
D-Lyxose
The ring form of ribose is a component of ribonucleic acid (RNA). Deoxyribose, which is
missing oxygen at position 2, is a component of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). In nucleic acids,
the hydroxyl group attached to carbon number 1 is replaced with nucleotide bases.
Ribose
Deoxyribose
Hexoses
Hexoses, such as the ones illustrated here, have the molecular formula C6H12O6. German
chemist Emil Fischer (1852-1919) identified the stereoisomers for these aldohexoses in 1894. He
received the 1902 Nobel Prize for chemistry for his work.
D-Allose
D-Altrose
D-Glucose
D-Mannose
27
D-Gulose
D-Idose
D-Galactose D-Talose
that have opposite configurations of a hydroxyl group at only one position, such as glucose and
mannose, are called epimers. Glucose, also called dextrose, is the most widely distributed sugar
in the plant and animal kingdoms and it is the sugar present in blood as "blood sugar". The chain
form of glucose is a polyhydric aldehyde, meaning that it has multiple hydroxyl groups and an
aldehyde group. Fructose, also called levulose or "fruit sugar", is shown here in the chain and
ring forms. Fructose and glucose are the main carbohydrate constituents of honey.
D-Tagatose
D-Fructose
Fructose
Galactose
Mannose
Heptoses
Sedoheptulose has the same structure as fructose, but it has one extra carbon. Sedoheptulose is
found in carrots. Mannoheptulose is a monosaccharide found in avocados.
D-Sedoheptulose
D-Mannoheptulose
3.3 Chain and Ring Structure
Many simple sugars can exist in a chain form or a ring form, as illustrated by the hexoses above.
The ring form is favored in aqueous solutions, and the mechanism of ring formation is similar for
most sugars. The glucose ring form is created when the oxygen on carbon number 5 links with
the carbon comprising the carbonyl group (carbon number 1) and transfers its hydrogen to the
carbonyl oxygen to create a hydroxyl group. The rearrangement produces alpha glucose when
the hydroxyl group is on the opposite side of the -CH2OH group, or beta glucose when the
28
hydroxyl group is on the same side as the -CH2OH group. Isomers, such as these, which differ
only in their configuration about their carbonyl carbon atom are called anomers. The little D in
the name derives from the fact that natural glucose is dextrorotary, i.e., it rotates polarized light
to the right, but it now denotes a specific configuration. Monosaccharides forming a five-sided
ring, like ribose, are called furanoses. Those forming six-sided rings, like glucose, are called
pyranoses.
3.4 Stereochemistry
Saccharides with identical functional groups but with different spatial configurations have
different chemical and biological properties. Stereochemisty is the study of the arrangement of
atoms in three-dimensional space. Stereoisomers are compounds in which the atoms are linked in
the same order but differ in their spatial arrangement. Compounds that are mirror images of each
other but are not identical, comparable to left and right shoes, are called enantiomers. The
following structures illustrate the difference between β-D-Glucose and β-L-Glucose. Identical
molecules can be made to correspond to each other by flipping and rotating. However,
enantiomers cannot be made to correspond to their mirror images by flipping and rotating.
Glucose is sometimes illustrated as a "chair form" because it is a more accurate representation of
the bond angles of the molecule. The "boat" form of glucose is unstable.
β-D-Glucose
β-L-Glucose
β-D-Glucose
(chair form)
β-D-Glucose
β-L-Glucose
β-D-Glucose
(boat form)
3.5 Monosaccharides in living organisms
Monosaccharides are the major source of fuel for metabolism, being used both as an energy
source (glucose being the most important in nature) and in biosynthesis. When monosaccharides
are not immediately needed by many cells they are often converted to more space-efficient
forms, often polysaccharides. In many animals, including humans, this storage form is glycogen,
especially in liver and muscle cells. In plants, starch is used for the same purpose.
4.0 Conclusion
29
Monosaccharides are classified according to three different characteristics; the placement of its
carbonyl group, the number of carbon atoms it contains and its chiral handedness.
Stereochemisty is the study of the arrangement of atoms in three-dimensional space.
Stereoisomers are compounds in which the atoms are linked in the same order but differ in their
spatial arrangement
5.0 Summary
In this chapter, we have learnt that
i. Monosaccharides are majorly classified into tetroses, pentoses, hexoses and heptoses
ii. A chain-form monosaccharide that has a carbonyl group (C=O) on an end carbon forming an
aldehyde group (-CHO) is classified as an aldose. When the carbonyl group is on an inner atom
forming a ketone, it is classified as a ketose.
6.0 Tutor marked Assignment
i. Outline the classification of monosaccharides based on the number of carbon atoms.
ii. Write the structures of ten named examples of hexoses
iii. Describe stereochemistry
7.0 Further reading
Nelson, D. L. and Cox, M. M. (2004): Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry, 4th edition.,
Freeman Publisher, USA.
30
Module 2: Monosaccharides
Unit 2: Derivatives of Monosaccharides
Page
1.0
Introduction………………………………………………………………….
2
2.0
Objectives……………………………………………………………………
2
3.0
Types of Sugar derivatives...............................………………………….....
2
3.1
Sugar alcohols ……….......................…..………………………………….
2
3.2
Amino sugars.................................................................................................
2
3.2
Uronic acids............................................................................................…..
3
3.3
N-acetylneuraminic acid...........................................……………….............
3
3.4
Reactions of Monosaccharides...............………........................................
3
4.0
Configurations of Glucose....................……………………………………
4
5.0
Conclusion……………………………………………………………………
7
6.0
Summary...........................…………………………………………………..
7
7.0
Tutor Marked Assignment ………………...………………………………..
7
8.0
Further reading................................................................................................
7
31
1.0 Introduction
The reactions of monosaccharides yield many important derivatives which ranges from sugar
alcohols, amino sugars and uronic acids. These derivatives serve as important components of
many organisms and biologically important substances.
2.0 Objective
At the end of this study, students should be able to
i. Know the derivatives of monosaccharides
ii. Give examples of all the derivatives of monosaccharides
iii. Understand the reactions involving monosaccharides
3.0 Types of Sugar derivatives
Sugars may be modified by natural or laboratory processes into compounds that retain the basic
configuration of saccharides, but have different functional groups.
3.1 Sugar alcohols
Sugar alcohols, also known as polyols, polyhydric alcohols, or polyalcohols, are the
hydrogenated forms of the aldoses or ketoses. For example, glucitol, also known as sorbitol, has
the same linear structure as the chain form of glucose, but the aldehyde (-CHO) group is replaced
with a -CH2OH group. Other common sugar alcohols include the monosaccharides erythritol and
xylitol and the disaccharides lactitol and maltitol. Sugar alcohols have about half the calories of
sugars and are frequently used in low-calorie or "sugar-free" products.
Glucitol or sorbitol
Xylitol, which has the hydroxyl groups oriented like xylose, is a very common ingredient in
"sugar-free" candies and gums because it is approximately as sweet as sucrose, but contains 40%
32
less food energy. Although this sugar alcohol appears to be safe for humans, xylitol in relatively
small doses can cause seizures, liver failure, and death in dogs.
3.2 Amino sugars
Amino sugars or aminosaccharides replace a hydroxyl group with an amino (-NH2) group.
Glucosamine is an amino sugar used to treat cartilage damage and reduce the pain and
progression of arthritis.
3.3 Uronic acids
Uronic acids have a carboxyl group (-COOH) on the carbon that is important part of the ring.
The aldehyde at C1, or the hydroxyl on the terminal carbon, is oxidized to a carboxylic acid.
Their names retain the root of the monosaccharides, but the -ose sugar suffix is changed to uronic acid. For example, galacturonic acid has the same configuration as galactose, and the
structure of glucuronic acid corresponds to glucose.
3.4 N-acetylneuraminic acid
N-acetylneuraminate, (N-acetylneuraminic acid, also called sialic acid) is often found as a
terminal residue of oligosaccharide chains of glycoproteins. Sialic acid imparts negative charge
to glycoproteins, because its carboxyl group tends to dissociate a proton at physiological pH, as
shown here.
33
Self Assessment Exercise I
i. How are sugar alcohols and amino sugars formed?
ii. Distinguish between gluconic and glucuronic acids.
3.5 Reactions of Monosaccharides
Carbohydrates have been given non-systematic names, although the suffix ose is generally used.
The most common carbohydrate is glucose (C6H12O6). Applying the terms defined above,
glucose is a monosaccharide, an aldohexose (note that the function and size classifications are
combined in one word) and a reducing sugar. The general structure of glucose and many other
aldohexoses was established by simple chemical reactions. The following diagram illustrates the
kind of evidence considered, although some of the reagents shown here are different from those
used by the original scientists.
Hot hydriodic acid (HI) was often used to reductively remove oxygen functional groups from a
molecule, and in the case of glucose this treatment gave hexane (in low yield). From this it was
concluded that the six carbons are in an unbranched chain. The presence of an aldehyde carbonyl
group was deduced from cyanohydrin formation, its reduction to the hexa-alcohol sorbitol, also
called glucitol, and mild oxidation to the mono-carboxylic acid, glucuronic acid. Somewhat
34
stronger oxidation by dilute nitric acid gave the diacid, glucaric acid, supporting the proposal of
a six-carbon chain. The five oxygens remaining in glucose after the aldehyde was accounted for
were thought to be in hydroxyl groups, since a penta-acetate derivative could be made. These
hydroxyl groups were assigned, one each, to the last five carbon atoms, because geminal
hydroxyl groups are normally unstable relative to the carbonyl compound formed by loss of
water. By clicking on the above diagram, it will change to display the suggested products and the
gross structure of glucose. The four middle carbon atoms in the glucose chain are centers of
chirality
and
are
colored
red.
Glucose and other saccharides are extensively cleaved by periodic acid, thanks to the abundance
of vicinal diol moieties in their structure. This oxidative cleavage, known as the Malaprade
reaction is particularly useful for the analysis of selective O-substituted derivatives of
saccharides, since ether functions do not react. The stoichiometry of aldohexose cleavage is
shown in the following equation.
HOCH2(CHOH)4CHO + 5 HIO4
3.6
The
——>
Configuration
H2C=O + 5 HCO2H + 5 HIO3
of
Glucose
The four chiral centers in glucose indicate there may be as many as sixteen (24) stereoisomers
having this constitution. These would exist as eight diastereomeric pairs of enantiomers, and the
initial challenge was to determine which of the eight corresponded to glucose. This challenge
was accepted and met in 1891 by the German chemist Emil Fischer. His successful negotiation
of the stereochemical maze presented by the aldohexoses was a logical tour de force, and it is
fitting that he received the 1902 Nobel Prize for chemistry for this accomplishment. One of the
first tasks faced by Fischer was to devise a method of representing the configuration of each
chiral center in an unambiguous manner. To this end, he invented a simple technique for drawing
chains of chiral centers, that we now call the Fischer projection formula.
At the time Fischer undertook the glucose project it was not possible to establish the absolute
configuration of an enantiomer. Consequently, Fischer made an arbitrary choice for (+)-glucose
and established a network of related aldose configurations that he called the D-family. The
mirror images of these configurations were then designated the L-family of aldoses. To illustrate
using present day knowledge, Fischer projection formulas and names for the D-aldose family
(three to six-carbon atoms) are shown below, with the asymmetric carbon atoms (chiral centers)
colored red. The last chiral center in an aldose chain (farthest from the aldehyde group) was
chosen by Fischer as the D / L designator site. If the hydroxyl group in the projection formula
pointed to the right, it was defined as a member of the D-family. A left directed hydroxyl group
(the mirror image) then represented the L-family.
Fischer's initial assignment of the D-configuration had a 50:50 chance of being right, but all his
subsequent conclusions concerning the relative configurations of various aldoses were soundly
based. In 1951 x-ray fluorescence studies of (+)-tartaric acid, carried out in the Netherlands by
Johannes Martin Bijvoet (pronounced "buy foot"), proved that Fischer's choice was correct. It is
important to recognize that the sign of a compound's specific rotation (an experimental number)
does not correlate with its configuration (D or L). It is a simple matter to measure an optical
35
rotation with a polarimeter. Determining an absolute configuration usually requires chemical
interconversion with known compounds by stereo specific reaction paths.
4.0 Conclusion
Sugars may be modified by natural or laboratory processes into compounds that retain the basic
configuration of saccharides, but have different functional groups. Numerous examples of
derivatives of monosaccharides include xylitol, sorbitol, gluconic acid, acetylglucosamine and
N-acetylneuraminic acid.
5.0 Summary
In this chapter, we have learnt that
i. Monosaccharides has many important derivatives.
ii. Sugar acids, amino sugars and uronic acids are some classes of sugar derivatives.
iii. Glucose, the simplest and commonest example of monosaccharides, take part in many
chemical reactions to produce derivatives.
6.0 Tutor marked Assignment
36
i. Using appropriate examples, account for the derivatives of monosaccharides.
ii. Write the scheme of reactions of glucose to produce various derivatives.
iii. What is the biological importance of acetylglucosamine and N-acetylneuraminic acid.
7.0 Further reading
Nelson, D. L. and Cox, M. M. (2004): Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry, 4th edition.,
Freeman Publisher, USA.
Module 3: Disaccharides
37
Unit 1: Diversity of Disaccharides
Page
1.0
Introduction……………………………………
………………………….
2
2.0
Objectives……………………………………………………………………
2
3.0
Composition of Disaccharides..........................………………………….....
2
3.1
Sucrose ...........……….......................…..………………………………….
2
3.2
Lactose...........................................................................................................
3
3.3
Maltose....................................................................................................…..
3
3.4
Trehalose...................................................................……………….............
4
3.5
Cellobiose...............………...........................................................................
4
3.6
Gentiobiose....................………………........................……………………
4
4.0
Reducing and non-reducing disaccharides....................................................
5
4.1
Comparison of Disaccharides........................................................................
5
5.0
Conclusion……………………………………………………………………
6
6.0
Summary...........................…………………………………………………..
6
7.0
Tutor Marked Assignment ………………...………………………………..
6
8.0
Further reading.............................................................................................
6
38
1.0 Introduction
Two joined monosaccharides are called a disaccharide and these are the simplest
polysaccharides. Examples include sucrose and lactose. They are composed of two
monosaccharide units bound together by a covalent bond known as a glycosidic linkage formed
via a dehydration reaction, resulting in the loss of a hydrogen atom from one monosaccharide
and a hydroxyl group from the other. The formula of unmodified disaccharides is C12H22O11.
Although there are numerous kinds of disaccharides, a handful of disaccharides are particularly
notable.
2.0 Objectives
At the end of this exercise, students should be able to
i. Know the constituents of all disaccharides
ii. Write the structures of most disaccharides
iii. Compare and contrast among disaccharides
3.0 Composition of Disaccharides
Disaccharides are made up of two monosaccharides. An illustration of this is shown in the table
below.
Disaccharide Description
Component monosaccharides
sucrose
common table sugar
glucose 1α→2 fructose
maltose
product of starch hydrolysis glucose 1α→4 glucose
trehalose
found in fungi
glucose 1α→1 glucose
lactose
main sugar in milk
galactose 1β→4 glucose
melibiose
found in legumes
galactose 1α→6 glucose
3.1 Sucrose
Sucrose, also called saccharose, is common table sugar refined from sugar cane or sugar beets. It
is the main ingredient in turbinado sugar, evaporated or dried cane juice, brown sugar, and
confectioner's sugar. Sucrose is the most abundant disaccharide, and the main form in which
carbohydrates are transported in plants. It is composed of one D-glucose molecule and one Dfructose molecule. The systematic name for sucrose, O-α-D-glucopyranosyl-(1→2)-Dfructofuranoside, indicates four things:


Its monosaccharides: glucose and fructose
Their ring types: glucose is a pyranose, and fructose is a furanose
39


How they are linked together: the oxygen on carbon number 1 (C1) of α-D-glucose is
linked to the C2 of D-fructose.
The -oside suffix indicates that the anomeric carbon of both monosaccharides participates
in the glycosidic bond.
It has a glycosidic bond linking the anomeric hydroxyls of glucose and fructose. Because the
configuration at the anomeric carbon of glucose is α (O points down from the ring), the linkage
is designated α (12).
3.2 Lactose
Lacotse has a molecular structure consisting of galactose and glucose with β (14) linkage from
the anomeric hydroxyl of galactose. Its full name is β-D-galactopyranosyl-(14)-β-Dglucopyranose. It occurs naturally in mammalian milk. It is of interest because it is associated
with lactose intolerance which is the intestinal distress caused by a deficiency of lactase, an
intestinal enzyme needed to absorb and digest lactose in milk. Undigested lactose ferments in the
colon and causes abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea. Yogurt does not cause these
problems because lactose is consumed by the bacteria that transform milk into yogurt.
3.3 Maltose
Maltose consists of two α-D-glucose molecules with the alpha bond at carbon 1 of one molecule
attached to the oxygen at carbon 4 of the second molecule. This is called a 1α→4 glycosidic
linkage. It is a disaccharide with an α(14) glycosidic linkage between the C1 hydroxyl of one
glucose and the C4 hydroxyl of a second glucose. Maltose is the β-anomer, because the O at
C1 points down from the ring.
40
3.4 Trehalose
Trehalose has two α-D-glucose molecules connected through carbon number one in a 1α→1
linkage. It isalso known as mycose or tremalose, is a natural alpha-linked disaccharide formed by
an α,α-1,1-glucoside bond between two α-glucose units. Trehalose is a nonreducing sugar
formed from two glucose units joined by a 1-1 alpha bond, giving it the name of α-Dglucopyranosyl-(1→1)-α-D-glucopyranoside. The bonding makes trehalose very resistant to acid
hydrolysis, and therefore is stable in solution at high temperatures, even under acidic conditions.
3.5 Cellobiose
Cellobiose is a disaccharide consisting of two β-D-glucose molecules that have a 1β→4 linkage
as in cellulose. It is a product of cellulose breakdown. The configuration at the anomeric C1 is β
(O points up from the ring). The β (14) glycosidic linkage is represented as a "zig-zag" line,
but one glucose residue is actually flipped over relative to the other. Cellobiose has no taste,
whereas maltose and trehalose are about one-third as sweet as sucrose.
41
3.6 Gentiobiose
Gentiobiose is a disaccharide composed of two units of D-glucose joined with a β(1->6) linkage.
It is a white crystalline solid that is soluble in water or hot methanol. Gentiobiose is incorporated
into the chemical structure of crocin, the chemical compound that gives saffron its color. It is a
product of the caramelization of glucose and its systematic name is 6-O-β-D-Glucopyranosyl-Dglucose
Self Assessment Exercise
i. Draw the structure of maltose
ii. Give the structural difference between maltose, cellobiose, trehalos and gentiobiose
iii. Describe the structure of sucrose
4.0 Reducing and Non-reducing Disaccharides
When the alcohol component of a glycoside is provided by a hydroxyl function on another
monosaccharide, the compound is called a disaccharide. Acid-catalyzed hydrolysis of these
disaccharides yields glucose as the only product. Enzyme-catalyzed hydrolysis is selective for a
specific glycoside bond, so an alpha-glycosidase cleaves maltose and trehalose to glucose, but
42
does not cleave cellobiose or gentiobiose. A beta-glycosidase has the opposite activity.
In order to draw a representative structure for cellobiose, one of the glucopyranose rings must be
rotated by 180º, but this feature is often omitted in favor of retaining the usual perspective for the
individual rings. The bonding between the glucopyranose rings in cellobiose and maltose is from
the anomeric carbon in ring A to the C-4 hydroxyl group on ring B. This leaves the anomeric
carbon in ring B free, so cellobiose and maltose both may assume alpha and beta anomers at that
site. Gentiobiose has a beta-glycoside link, originating at C-1 in ring A and terminating at C-6 in
ring B. Its alpha-anomer is drawn in the diagram. Because cellobiose, maltose and gentiobiose
are hemiacetals they are all reducing sugars (oxidized by Tollen's reagent). Trehalose, a
disaccharide found in certain mushrooms, is a bis-acetal, and is therefore a non-reducing sugar.
A systematic nomenclature for disaccharides exists, but as the following examples illustrate,
these are often lengthy.
Cellobiose: 4-O-β-D-Glucopyranosyl-D-glucose
Maltose: 4-O-α-D-Glucopyranosyl-D-glucose
Gentiobiose: 6-O-β-D-Glucopyranosyl-D-glucose
Trehalose: α-D-Glucopyranosyl-α-D-glucopyranoside
4.1 Comparison of Disaccharides
Although all the disaccharides are made up of two glucopyranose rings, their properties differ in
interesting ways. Maltose, sometimes called malt sugar, comes from the hydrolysis of starch. It is
about one third as sweet as cane sugar (sucrose), is easily digested by humans, and is fermented
by yeast. Cellobiose is obtained by the hydrolysis of cellulose. It has virtually no taste, is
indigestible by humans, and is not fermented by yeast. Some bacteria have beta-glucosidase
enzymes that hydrolyze the glycosidic bonds in cellobiose and cellulose. The presence of such
bacteria in the digestive tracts of cows and termites permits these animals to use cellulose as a
food. Finally, it may be noted that trehalose has a distinctly sweet taste, but gentiobiose is bitter.
43
Disaccharides made up of other sugars are known, but glucose is often one of the components.
Lactose, also known as milk sugar, is a galactose-glucose compound joined as a beta-glycoside.
It is a reducing sugar because of the hemiacetal function remaining in the glucose moiety. Many
adults, particularly those from regions where milk is not a dietary staple, have a metabolic
intolerance for lactose. Infants have a digestive enzyme which cleaves the beta-glycoside bond in
lactose, but production of this enzyme stops with weaning. Cheese is less subject to the lactose
intolerance problem, since most of the lactose is removed with the whey. Sucrose, or cane sugar,
is our most commonly used sweetening agent. It is a non-reducing disaccharide composed of
glucose and fructose joined at the anomeric carbon of each by glycoside bonds (one alpha and
one beta).
5.0 Conclusion
Disaccharides are carbohydrates consisting of two monosaccharide units. They include maltose,
lactose, sucrose, trehalose and cellobiose. They occur generally in nature such in milk (lactose),
table sugar (sucrose) and malt sugar (maltose).
6.0 Summary
In this chapter, we have learnt that
i. Disaccharides occur naturally and are diverse.
ii. Examples of disaccharides include maltose, sucrose, lactose and cellobiose.
iii. Glucose is a component of most disaccharides.
7.0 Tutor-marked Assignment
i. What are Disaccharides?
ii. Give five examples of disaccharides and state the composition of each.
iii. Write the structures of sucrose, trehalose and maltose.
8.0 Further reading
Nelson, D. L. and Cox, M. M. (2004): Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry, 4th edition.,
Freeman Publisher, USA.
44
Module 4: Polysaccharides
Unit 1: Homopolysaccharides
Page
1.0
Introduction……………………………………
………………………….
2
2.0
Objectives……………………………………………………………………
2
3.0
Homopolysaccharides.......................................………………………….....
2
3.1
Starch.............……….........................…..………………………………….
2
3.2
Glycogen.........................................................................................................
4
3.3
Dextran....................................................................................................…..
5
3.4
Cellulose...................................................................……………….............
5
3.5
Synthetic modification of celllose.................................................................
7
3.6
Beta-glucan.....................................................................................................
8
4.0
Conclusion……………………………………………………………………
9
5.0
Summary...........................…………………………………………………..
9
6.0
Tutor Marked Assignment ………………...………………………………..
9
7.0
Further reading................................................................................................
9
45
1.0 Introduction
Polysaccharides are large high-molecular weight molecules constructed by joining
monosaccharide units together by glycosidic bonds. They are sometimes called glycans. The
most important compounds in this class, cellulose, starch and glycogen are all polymers of
glucose. This is easily demonstrated by acid-catalyzed hydrolysis to the monosaccharide.
2.0 Objectives
At the end of this unit, students should be able to
i. understand the term homopolysaccharides
ii. State in specific terms examples of homopolysaccharides
iii. write structures of some homopolysaccharides
3.0 Homopolysaccharides
These are polysaccharides that consist of a single type of monosaccharides in their structures.
Examples include starch, glycogen and cellulose.
3.1 Starch
Starches are carbohydrates in which 300 to 1000 glucose units join together. It is a
polysaccharide which plants use to store energy for later use. Starch forms in grains with an
insoluble outer layer which remain in the cell where it is formed until the energy is needed. Then
it can be broken down into soluble glucose units. Starches are smaller than cellulose units, and
can be more readily used for energy. In animals, the equivalent of starches is glycogen, which
can be stored in the muscles or in the liver for later use. Foods such as potatoes, rice, corn and
wheat contain starch granules which are important energy sources for humans. The human
digestive process breaks down the starches into glucose units with the aid of enzymes, and those
glucose molecules can circulate in the blood stream as an energy source.
Starch is the major form of stored carbohydrate in plants. Starch is composed of a mixture of two
substances: amylose, an essentially linear polysaccharide, and amylopectin, a highly branched
polysaccharide. Both forms of starch are polymers of α-D-Glucose. Natural starches contain 1020% amylose and 80-90% amylopectin. Amylose forms a colloidal dispersion in hot water
(which helps to thicken gravies) whereas amylopectin is completely insoluble. Most animals,
including humans, depend on these plant starches for nourishment. The structure of starch is
more complex than that of cellulose. The intact granules are insoluble in cold water, but grinding
or swelling them in warm water causes them to burst.
Amylose molecules consist typically of 200 to 20,000 glucose units which form a helix as a result
of the bond angles between the glucose units. Molecules of amylose are linear chains of several
thousand glucose units joined by alpha C-1 to C-4 glycoside bonds. Amylose solutions are
actually dispersions of hydrated helical micelles.
46
Amylose
Amylopectin differs from amylose in being highly branched. Short side chains of about 30
glucose units are attached with 1α→6 linkages approximately every twenty to thirty glucose
units along the chain. Amylopectin molecules may contain up to two million glucose units.
Molecules of amylopectin are branched networks built from C-1 to C-4 and C-1 to C-6 glycoside
links, and are essentially water insoluble.
Amylopectin
Starches are transformed into many commercial products by hydrolysis using acids or enzymes
as catalysts. Hydrolysis is a chemical reaction in which water is used to break long
polysaccharide chains into smaller chains or into simple carbohydrates. The resulting products
are assigned a Dextrose Equivalent (DE) value which is related to the degree of hydrolysis. A
DE value of 100 corresponds to completely hydrolyzed starch, which is pure glucose (dextrose).
Dextrins are a group of low-molecular-weight carbohydrates produced by the hydrolysis of
starch. Dextrins are mixtures of polymers of D-glucose units linked by 1α→4 or 1α→6
glycosidic bonds.
Maltodextrin is partially hydrolyzed starch that is not sweet and has a DE value less than 20.
Syrups, such as corn syrup made from corn starch, have DE values from 20 to 91. Commercial
dextrose has DE values from 92 to 99.
47
Corn syrup solids, which may be labeled as soluble corn fiber or resistant maltodextrin, are
mildly sweet semi-crystalline or powdery amorphous products with DEs from 20 to 36 made by
drying corn syrup in a vacuum or in spray driers. Resistant maltodextrin or soluble corn fiber are
not broken down in the digestive system, but they are partially fermented by colonic bacteria
thus providing only 2 Calories per gram instead of the 4 Calories per gram in corn syrup.
High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), commonly used to sweeten soft drinks, is made by treating
corn syrup with enzymes to convert a portion of the glucose into fructose. Commercial HFCS
contains from 42% to 55% fructose, with the remaining percentage being mainly glucose.
Modified starch is starch that has been changed by mechanical processes or chemical treatments
to stabilize starch gels made with hot water. Without modification, gelled starch-water mixtures
lose viscosity or become rubbery after a few hours.
Hydrogenated glucose syrup (HGS) is produced by hydrolyzing starch, and then hydrogenating
the resulting syrup to produce sugar alcohols like maltitol and sorbitol, along with hydrogenated
oligo- and polysaccharides.
Polydextrose (poly-D-glucose) is a synthetic, highly-branched polymer with many types of
glycosidic linkages created by heating dextrose with an acid catalyst and purifying the resulting
water-soluble polymer. Polydextrose is used as a bulking agent because it is tasteless and is
similar to fiber in terms of its resistance to digestion. The name resistant starch is applied to
dietary starch that is not degraded in the stomach and small intestine, but is fermented by
microflora in the large intestine.
3.2 Glycogen
Glucose is stored as glycogen in animal tissues by the process of glycogenesis. When glucose
cannot be stored as glycogen or used immediately for energy, it is converted to fat. Glycogen is a
polymer of α-D-Glucose identical to amylopectin, but the branches in glycogen tend to be shorter
(about 13 glucose units) and more frequent. The glucose chains are organized globularly like
branches of a tree originating from a pair of molecules of glycogenin, a protein with a molecular
weight of 38,000 that acts as a primer at the core of the structure. Glycogen is easily converted
back to glucose to provide energy.
Glycogen is the glucose storage polymer used by animals. It has a structure similar to
amylopectin, but is even more highly branched (about every tenth glucose unit). The degree of
branching in these polysaccharides may be measured by enzymatic or chemical analysis.
48
3.3 Dextran
Dextran is a polysaccharide similar to amylopectin, but the main chains are formed by 1α→6
glycosidic linkages and the side branches are attached by 1α→3 or 1α→4 linkages. Dextran is an
oral bacterial product that adheres to the teeth, creating a film called plaque. It is also used
commercially in confections, in lacquers, as food additives, and as plasma volume expanders.
Dextran
Self Assessment Exercise
i. Describe the composition of starch
ii. Distinguish between glycogen and dextran
3.4 Cellulose
Cellulose is a polymer of β-D-Glucose, which in contrast to starch, is oriented with -CH2OH
groups alternating above and below the plane of the cellulose molecule thus producing long,
unbranched chains. The absence of side chains allows cellulose molecules to lie close together
and form rigid structures. Cellulose is the major structural material of plants. Wood is largely
cellulose, and cotton is almost pure cellulose. Cellulose can be hydrolyzed to its constituent
49
glucose units by microorganisms that inhabit the digestive tract of termites and ruminants.
Cellulose may be modified in the laboratory by treating it with nitric acid (HNO3) to replace all
the hydroxyl groups with nitrate groups (-ONO2) to produce cellulose nitrate (nitrocellulose or
guncotton) which is an explosive component of smokeless powder. Partially nitrated cellulose,
known as pyroxylin, is used in the manufacture of collodion, plastics, lacquers, and nail polish.
Over half of the total organic carbon in the earth's biosphere is in cellulose. Cotton fibers are
essentially pure cellulose, and the wood of bushes and trees is about 50% cellulose. As a polymer
of glucose, cellulose has the formula (C6H10O5)n where n ranges from 500 to 5,000, depending
on the source of the polymer. Cellulose molecules tend to be straight chains, and the fibers which
result from collections of cellulose molecules have the strength to form the supporting structures
of plants. Even though human digestion cannot break down cellulose for use as a food, animals
such as cattle and termites rely on the energy content of cellulose. They have protozoa and
bacteria with the necessary enzymes in their digestive systems. Cellulose in the human diet is
needed for fiber.
Cellulose
Cellulose Gum or Carboxymethyl Cellulose (CMC) is a chemical derivative of cellulose
where some of the hydroxyl groups (-OH) are substituted with carboxymethyl groups (CH2COOH). The properties of cellulose gum depend on the degree of substitution and the length
of the cellulose chains. The degree of substitution (DS) is the number of carboxymethyl groups
per glucose unit and may vary in commercial products from 0.4 to 1.5. Cellulose gum is nontoxic and becomes very viscous when combined with water. It is used as a thickener for foods
and as an emulsion stabilizer in products like ice cream. Cellulose gum is also used in personal
lubricants, diet pills, water-based paints, detergents and paper coatings.
50
Most animals cannot digest cellulose as a food, and in the diets of humans this part of our
vegetable intake functions as roughage and is eliminated largely unchanged. Some animals (the
cow and termites, for example) harbor intestinal microorganisms that breakdown cellulose into
monosaccharide
nutrients
by
the
use
of
beta-glycosidase
enzymes.
Cellulose is commonly accompanied by a lower molecular weight, branched, amorphous
polymer called hemicellulose. In contrast to cellulose, hemicellulose is structurally weak and is
easily hydrolyzed by dilute acid or base. Also, many enzymes catalyze its hydrolysis.
Hemicelluloses are composed of many D-pentose sugars, with xylose being the major
component. Mannose and mannuronic acid are often present, as well as galactose and
galacturonic acid.
3.5 Synthetic Modification of Cellulose
Cotton, probably the most useful natural fiber, is nearly pure cellulose. The manufacture of
textiles from cotton involves physical manipulation of the raw material by carding, combing and
spinning selected fibers. For fabrics the best cotton has long fibers, and short fibers or cotton dust
are removed. Crude cellulose is also available from wood pulp by dissolving the lignan matrix
surrounding it. These less desirable cellulose sources are widely used for making paper.
In order to expand the ways in which cellulose can be put to practical use, chemists have devised
techniques for preparing solutions of cellulose derivatives that can be spun into fibers, spread
into a film or cast in various solid forms. A key factor in these transformations are the three free
hydroxyl groups on each glucose unit in the cellulose chain, --[C6H7O(OH)3]n--. Esterification of
these functions leads to polymeric products having very different properties compared with
cellulose itself.
Cellulose Nitrate, first prepared over 150 years ago by treating cellulose with nitric acid, is the
earliest synthetic polymer to see general use. The fully nitrated compound, --[C6H7O(ONO2)3]n--,
called guncotton, is explosively flammable and is a component of smokeless powder. Partially
nitrated cellulose is called pyroxylin. Pyroxylin is soluble in ether and at one time was used for
photographic film and lacquers. The high flammability of pyroxylin caused many tragic cinema
fires during its period of use. Furthermore, slow hydrolysis of pyroxylin yields nitric acid, a
process that contributes to the deterioration of early motion picture films in storage.
Cellulose Acetate, --[C6H7O(OAc)3]n--, is less flammable than pyroxylin, and has replaced it in
most applications. It is prepared by reaction of cellulose with acetic anhydride and an acid
catalyst. The properties of the product vary with the degree of acetylation. Some chain
51
shortening occurs unavoidably in the preparations. An acetone solution of cellulose acetate may
be forced through a spinneret to generate filaments, called acetate rayon that can be woven into
fabrics.
Viscose Rayon is prepared by formation of an alkali soluble xanthate derivative that can be spun
into a fiber that reforms the cellulose polymer by acid quenching. The following general
equation illustrates these transformations. The product fiber is called viscose rayon.
NaOH
ROH
cellulose
(-)
(+)
RO Na
+ S=C=S
(-)
(+)
RO-CS2 Na
viscose solution
H3O(+)
ROH
rayon
Hemicellulose
The term "hemicellulose" is applied to the polysaccharide components of plant cell walls other
than cellulose, or to polysaccharides in plant cell walls which are extractable by dilute alkaline
solutions. Hemicelluloses comprise almost one-third of the carbohydrates in woody plant tissue.
The chemical structure of hemicelluloses consists of long chains of a variety of pentoses,
hexoses, and their corresponding uronic acids. Hemicelluloses may be found in fruit, plant stems,
and grain hulls. Although hemicelluloses are not digestible, they can be fermented by yeasts and
bacteria. The polysaccharides yielding pentoses on hydrolysis are called pentosans. Xylan is an
example of a pentosan consisting of D-xylose units with 1β→4 linkages.
Xylan
3.6 Beta-Glucan
Beta-glucans consist of linear unbranched polysaccharides of β-D-Glucose like cellulose, but
with one 1β→3 linkage for every three or four 1β→4 linkages. Beta-glucans form long
cylindrical molecules containing up to about 250,000 glucose units. Beta-glucans occur in the
bran of grains such as barley and oats, and they are recognized as being beneficial for reducing
heart disease by lowering cholesterol and reducing the glycemic response. They are used
comercially to modify food texture and as fat substitutes.
52
Beta-Glucan
4.0 Conclusion
Homopolysaccharides have only one type of monosaccharides within them. They are present
within plants and animals. They include starch, glycogen and cellulose.
5.0 Summary
In this chapter, we have learnt that
i. Polysaccharides can be classified into homopolysaccharides and heteropolysaccharides.
ii. Homopolysaccharides consist of only one type of monosaccharide.
iii. Examples of homopoysaccharides include starch, glycogen and cellulose.
6.0 Tutor-marked Assignment
i. What are Homopolysaccharides?
ii. Give three examples of homopolysaccharides and state the composition of each.
iii. Write the structures of starch.
7.0 Further reading
Nelson, D. L. and Cox, M. M. (2004): Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry, 4th edition.,
Freeman Publisher, USA.
53
Module 4: Polysaccharides
Unit 2: Heteropolysaccharides
54
Page
1.0
Introduction……………………………………
………………………….
2
2.0
Objectives……………………………………………………………………
2
3.0
Types of heteropolysaccharides........................………………………….....
2
3.1
Arabinoxylan....……….......................…..………………………………….
2
3.2
Chitin..............................................................................................................
2
3.3
Glycosaminoglycans................................................................................…..
3
3.4
Agar and Carageenan................................................……………….............
3
3.5
Alginic acid............………...........................................................................
4
3.6
Galactomannan...............………………........................……………………
4
3.7
Pectin.............................................................................................................
5
3.8
Xanthan gum…………………………………………………………………
5
3.9
Glucomannan...........................……………………………………………….
6
3.10
Inulin................................................................................................................
6
4.0
Conclusion.........................................................................................................
7
5.0
Summary.........................................................................................................
7
6.0
Tutor Marked Assignment ………………...………………………………..
7
7.0
Further reading.................................................................................................
7
1.0 Introduction
Heteropolysaccharides are polysaccharides which consist of two or more different types of
monosaccharides. They include chitin, agar and alginic acid.
2.0 Objectives
At the end of this unit, students should be able to
i. Define heteropolysaccharides.
55
ii. Highlight specific examples of heteropolysaccharides.
iii. Describe chitin, caragenaan and agar.
3.0 Types of heteropolysaccharides
3.1 Arabinoxylan
Arabinoxylans are polysaccharides found in the bran of grasses and grains such as wheat, rye,
and barley. Arabinoxylans consist of a xylan backbone with L-arabinofuranose (L-arabinose in
its 5-atom ring form) attached randomly by 1α→2 and/or 1α→3 linkages to the xylose units
throughout the chain. Since xylose and arabinose are both pentoses, arabinoxylans are usually
classified as pentosans. Arabinoxylans are important in the baking industry. The arabinose units
bind water and produce viscous compounds that affect the consistency of dough, the retention of
gas bubbles from fermentation in gluten-starch films, and the final texture of baked products.
Arabinoxylan
3.2 Chitin
Chitin is an unbranched polymer of N-Acetyl-D-glucosamine. It is found in fungi and is the
principal component of arthropod and lower animal exoskeletons, e.g., insect, crab, and shrimp
shells. It may be regarded as a derivative of cellulose, in which the hydroxyl groups of the
second carbon of each glucose unit have been replaced with acetamido (-NH(C=O)CH3) groups.
Chitin
3.3 Glycosaminoglycans
56
Glycosaminoglycans are found in the lubricating fluid of the joints and as components of
cartilage, synovial fluid, vitreous humor, bone, and heart valves. Glycosaminoglycans are long
unbranched polysaccharides containing repeating disaccharide units that contain either of two
amino sugar compounds -- N-acetylgalactosamine or N-acetylglucosamine, and a uronic acid
such as glucuronate (glucose where carbon six forms a carboxyl group). Glycosaminoglycans are
negatively charged, highly viscous molecules sometimes called mucopolysaccharides. The
physiologically most important glycosaminoglycans are hyaluronic acid, dermatan sulfate,
chondroitin sulfate, heparin, heparan sulfate, and keratan sulfate. Chondroitin sulfate is
composed of β-D-glucuronate linked to the third carbon of N-acetylgalactosamine-4-sulfate as
illustrated here. Heparin is a complex mixture of linear polysaccharides that have anticoagulant
properties and vary in the degree of sulfation of the saccharide units.
Chondroitin Sulfate
Heparin
3.4 Agar and Carrageenan
Agar (agar agar) is extracted from seaweed and is used in many foods as a gelling agent. Agar is
a polymer of agarobiose, a disaccharide composed of D-galactose and 3,6-anhydro-L-galactose.
Highly refined agar is used as a medium for culturing bacteria, cellular tissues, and for DNA
fingerprinting. Agar is used as an ingredient in desserts in Japan and other Asian countries. The
gels produced with agar have a crispier texture than the desserts made with animal gelatin.
Agarobiose
Carrageenan is a generic term for several polysaccharides also extracted from seaweed.
Carrageenan compounds differ from agar in that they have sulfate groups (-OSO3-) in place of
some hydroxyl groups. Carrageenan is also used for thickening, suspending, and gelling food
products.
57
Self Assessment Exercise
i. Describe the structure and function of chitin.
ii. Distinguish between agar and carageenan
3.5 Alginic acid (Alginates)
Alginate is extracted from seaweeds, such as giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera). The chemical
constituents of alginate are random sequences of chains of β-D-mannuronic and α-L-guluronic
acids attached with 1→4 linkages. Alginates are insoluble in water, but absorb water readily.
They are useful as gelling and thickening agents. Alginates are used in the manufacture of
textiles, paper, and cosmetics. The sodium salt of alginic acid, sodium alginate, is used in the
food industry to increase viscosity and as an emulsifier. Alginates are found in food products
such as ice cream and in slimming aids where they serve as appetite suppresants. In dentistry,
alginates are used to make dental impressions.
Alginic acid
3.6 Galactomannan
Galactomannans are polysaccharides consisting of a mannose backbone with galactose side
groups. The mannopyranose units are linked with 1β→4 linkages to which galactopyranose units
are attached with 1α→6 linkages. Galactomannans are present in several vegetable gums that are
used to increase the viscosity of food products. These are the approximate ratios of mannose to
galactose for the following gums:




Fenugreek gum, mannose:galactose 1:1
Guar gum, mannose:galactose 2:1
Tara gum, mannose:galactose 3:1
Locust bean gum or Carob gum, mannose:galactose 4:1
Guar is a legume that has been traditionally cultivated as livestock feed. Guar gum is also known
by the name cyamopsis tetragonoloba which is the Latin taxonomy for the guar bean or cluster
bean. Guar gum is the ground endosperm of the seeds. Approximately 85% of guar gum is
guaran, a water soluble polysaccharide consisting of linear chains of mannose with 1β→4
linkages to which galactose units are attached with 1α→6 linkages. The ratio of mannose to
galactose is 2:1. Guar gum has five to eight times the thickening power of starch and has many
uses in the pharmaceutical industry, as a food stabilizer, and as a source of dietary fiber.
58
Guaran is the principal polysaccharide in guar gum.
3.7 Pectin
Pectin is a polysaccharide that acts as a cementing material in the cell walls of all plant tissues.
The white portion of the rind of lemons and oranges contains approximately 30% pectin. Pectin
is the methylated ester of polygalacturonic acid, which consists of chains of 300 to 1000
galacturonic acid units joined with 1α→4 linkages. The Degree of Esterification (DE) affects the
gelling properties of pectin. The structure shown here has three methyl ester forms (-COOCH3)
for every two carboxyl groups (-COOH), hence it is has a 60% degree of esterification, normally
called a DE-60 pectin. Pectin is an important ingredient of fruit preserves, jellies, and jams.
Pectin is a polymer of α-Galacturonic acid with a variable number of methyl ester groups.
3.8 Xanthan Gum
Xanthan gum is a polysaccharide with a β-D-glucose backbone like cellulose, but every second
glucose unit is attached to a trisaccharide consisting of mannose, glucuronic acid, and mannose.
The mannose closest to the backbone has an acetic acid ester on carbon 6, and the mannose at the
end of the trisaccharide is linked through carbons 6 and 4 to the second carbon of pyruvic acid.
Xanthan Gum is produced by the bacterium Xanthomonas campestris, which is found on
cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage and cauliflower. The negatively charged carboxyl groups
on the side chains cause the molecules to form very viscous fluids when mixed with water.
Xanthan gum is used as a thickener for sauces, to prevent ice crystal formation in ice cream, and
59
as a low-calorie substitute for fat. Xanthan gum is frequently mixed with guar gum because the
viscosity of the combination is greater than when either one is used alone.
The repeating unit of Xanthan Gum
3.9 Glucomannan
Glucomannan is a dietary fiber obtained from tubers of Amorphophallus konjac cultivated in
Asia. Flour from the konjac tubers is used to make Japanese shirataki noodles, also called
konnyaku noodles, which are very low in calories. Glucomannan is used as a hunger suppressant
because it produces a feeling of fullness by creating very viscous solutions that retard absorption
of the nutrients in food. One gram of this soluble polysaccharide can absorb up to 200 ml of
water, so it is also used for absorbent articles such as disposable diapers and sanitary napkins.
The polysaccharide consists of glucose (G) and mannose (M) in a proportion of 5:8 joined by
1β→4 linkages. The basic polymeric repeating unit has the pattern: GGMMGMMMMMGGM.
Short side chains of 11-16 monosaccharides occur at intervals of 50-60 units of the main chain
attached by 1β→3 linkages. Also, acetate groups on carbon 6 occur at every 9-19 units of the
main chain. Hydrolysis of the acetate groups favors the formation of intermolecular hydrogen
bonds that are responsible for the gelling action.
A portion (GGMM) of the glucomannan repeating unit.
The second glucose has an acetate group.
60
3.10 Inulin
Some plants store carbohydrates in the form of inulin as an alternative, or in addition, to starch.
Inulins are present in many vegetables and fruits, including onions, leeks, garlic, bananas,
asparagus, chicory, and Jerusalem artichokes. Inulins, also called fructans, are polymers
consisting of fructose units that typically have a terminal glucose. Oligofructose has the same
structure as inulin, but the chains consist of 10 or fewer fructose units. Oligofructose has
approximately 30 to 50 percent of the sweetness of table sugar. Inulin is less soluble than
oligofructose and has a smooth creamy texture that provides a fat-like mouthfeel. Inulin and
oligofructose are nondigestible by human intestinal enzymes, but they are totally fermented by
colonic microflora. The short-chain fatty acids and lactate produced by fermentation contribute
1.5 kcal per gram of inulin or oligofructose. Inulin and oligofructose are used to replace fat or
sugar and reduce the calories of foods like ice cream, dairy products, confections and baked
goods.
Inulin
n = approx. 35
4.0 Conclusion
Heteropolysaccharides are polysaccharides which are characterised by more than one unit of
monosaccharides. Examples of heteropolysaccharides include chitin, agar, caragenaan, pectin
and inulin.
5.0 Summary
In this chapter, we have learnt that
i. Heteropolysaccharides are made up of more than one type of monosaccharides.
ii. Heteropolysaccharides are present naturally in plants, animals and micro-organisms
iii. Examples of heteropoysaccharides include chitin, pectin and inulin.
6.0 Tutor-marked Assignment
i. What are Heteropolysaccharides?
ii. Give three examples of heterolysaccharides and state the composition of each.
61
iii. Describe the structures of chitin and inulin.
7.0 Further reading
Nelson, D. L. and Cox, M. M. (2004): Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry, 4th edition.
Freeman Publisher, USA.
62

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