Galactose figure 3-6

Glucose, fructose, and galactose have the same chemical formula, but their structural differences result in different properties among the three compounds.



figure 3-7

(a) Many structures, such as hair and horns are made of proteins. (b) Proteins are made up of amino acids. Amino acids differ only in the type of R group (shown in red) they carry. Polar R groups can dissolve in water, but nonpolar R groups cannot. (c) Amino acids have complex structures, so, in this and other textbooks, they are often simplified into balls.


(b) Alanine (an amino acid)

(c) Simplified version of amino acid

Disaccharides and Polysaccharides

In living things, two monosaccharides can combine in a condensation reaction to form a double sugar, or disaccharide (die-SAK-e-RIED). For example in Figure 3-4, the monosaccharides fructose and glucose can combine to form the disaccharide sucrose.

A polysaccharide is a complex molecule composed of three or more monosaccharides. Animals store glucose in the form of the polysaccharide glycogen. Glycogen consists of hundreds of glucose molecules strung together in a highly branched chain. Much of the glucose that comes from food is ultimately stored in your liver and muscles as glycogen and is ready to be used for quick energy.

Plants store glucose molecules in the form of the polysaccharide starch. Starch molecules have two basic forms—highly branched chains that are similar to glycogen and long, coiled, unbranched chains. Plants also make a large polysaccharide called cellulose. Cellulose, which gives strength and rigidity to plant cells, makes up about 50 percent of wood. In a single cellulose molecule, thousands of glucose monomers are linked in long, straight chains. These chains tend to form hydrogen bonds with each other. The resulting structure is strong and can be broken down by hydrolysis only under certain conditions.

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