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Are Glycoproteins Good For The Body?

Feb 17, 2008
The name glycoprotein describes the molecule. It consists of protein and carbohydrates.

The monosaccharides which are available in the glycoproteins may be glucose, mannose, xylose , N-acetylgulcosamine, galactose, and others.

Addition of sugar to protein is called as glycosylation. Glycosylation may be N-glycosylation or O-glycosylation. The type of glycosylation depends on the addition of the sugar. In N-glycosylation, sugar is added to asparagine. In O-glycosylation, sugar is added to serine, hydroxylysine, hydroxyproline, or theonine.

Mucin is a glycoprotein available in the human body. Sugars are attached to mucins. So mucins are able to hold water . They are also proteolysis resistant to the digestive enzymes.

Antibodies are glycoproteins. These glycoproteins interact with the antigens. Major Histocompatibility complex or MHC molecules are also glycoproteins. They act with T cells.

Some others are zona pellucida components needed for sperm-egg interaction, structural glycoproteins which help in binding tissues. Glycoproteins in egg white and blood plasma.

Some of the glycoproteins, which are hormones, are Erythropoietin, Human chorionic gonadotropin, Follocle stimulating hormone,Thyroid stimulating hormone, Luteinizing hormone, and Alpha-fetoprotein.

The carbohydrate that constitute the glycoprotein are generally branched and short. They may be of several types. They may be made of chains of sugars like glucose, galactose etc. They may be chain of amino sugars or sugar that contains amino group. They may be chains of acidic sugars or sugars that contain carboxyl group.

What is the benefit of these sugars? They provide the glycoproteins of some special features. Glycoproteins are hydrophilic because of presence of the OH groups in the sugars. These OH groups are necessary for folding proteins into their tertiary structure.

Glycoproteins, which are soluble, show a high viscosity. Immune cell recognition is a work that needs glycoproteins.

CHO in glycoproteins has a big role. It directs folding of proteins. Protein folding takes place at the ER (Endoplasmic Reticulum). In absence or inhibition of glycoproteins, protein misfolding takes place.

From Glyconutrients you can get glycoproteins. In Golgi body present in the body, mannose sugar binds with N-acetylglucosamine. Then the molecule goes to the ER. In the ER it forms glycoproteins by binding with proteins.

Why are glycoproteins so important? It is important because almost 85% of the molecules are glycoproteins in the human body. So, it can affect the human body badly if it is not produced in the body. Cells, tissues, antibodies, enzymes, muscle fibre, hormones etc will not be created if the production of the glycoprotein is not sufficient. Then you can well imagine the chaos that will follow. If enzymes are not produced or provided with the needed food, then they will not be able to act. Then most of the functions in your body will not take place. You will not be able to thrive.

When may it not be produced? When there is any deficiency of sugars in the body, then production of glycoproteins may be disturbed.

Glycoproteins are of great importance to the body for which your body needs two things- sugars and proteins. The mechanism is well maintained. You just need to ensure that there is a constant supply of sugars through your food.
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