Glycocalyx

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The glycocalyx is a system of [[Proteins|protein]]-linked ([[Glycoproteins|glycoproteins]]) and [[Lipid|lipid]]-linked [[Carbohydrate|carbohydrates]] that span the [[Plasma membrane|plasma membrane]] of a [[Eukaryotic cells|eukaryotic]] cell forming a slimy layer. The transmembrane proteins (form of integral membrane protein) - forming the glycoproteins - are the main way that carbohydrate layer is held in place in the layer.  
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The glycocalyx is a system of [[Proteins|protein]]-linked ([[Glycoproteins|glycoproteins]]) and [[Lipid|lipid]]-linked [[Carbohydrate|carbohydrates]] that span the [[Plasma membrane|plasma membrane]] of a [[Eukaryotic cells|eukaryotic]] cell forming a slimy layer. The transmembrane proteins (a form of integral membrane protein) - forming the glycoproteins - are the main way that the carbohydrate layer is held in place in the layer.  
  
The layer also contains proteoglycans<ref>Alberts, Johnson, Lewis, Raff, Roberts and Walter (2008) Molecular biology of the cell 5th Edition. New York. Garland Science, Taylor &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp; Francis group. p637</ref>.  
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The layer also contains proteoglycans<ref>Alberts, Johnson, Lewis, Raff, Roberts and Walter (2008) Molecular biology of the cell 5th Edition. New York. Garland Science, Taylor and Francis group. p637</ref>.  
  
 
The glycocalyx has a number of important functions:  
 
The glycocalyx has a number of important functions:  
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*[[Cell signalling|Cell signalling]]: specific patterns are recognised within the glycocalyx and therefore binding of molecules can occur. These are known as the [[Glycosylation|glycosylation]] pattern. The glycocalyx can also bind and release [[Growth factor|growth factors]].  
 
*[[Cell signalling|Cell signalling]]: specific patterns are recognised within the glycocalyx and therefore binding of molecules can occur. These are known as the [[Glycosylation|glycosylation]] pattern. The glycocalyx can also bind and release [[Growth factor|growth factors]].  
 
*Protecting the cell: this is because the glycocalyx acts as a slimy layer so that movement is easier for the cell. Also, it acts as a barrier against substances that may otherwise be permeable to the cell and not required within it.  
 
*Protecting the cell: this is because the glycocalyx acts as a slimy layer so that movement is easier for the cell. Also, it acts as a barrier against substances that may otherwise be permeable to the cell and not required within it.  
*Adhesion with other cells: proteins in the cell surface of other cells will bind to the [[Carbohydrates|carbohydrates involved]] in making up the glycocalyx<ref>Alberts, Johnson, Lewis, Raff, Roberts and Walter (2008) Molecular biology of the cell 5th Edition. New York. Garland Science, Taylor &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp; Francis group. p637</ref><ref>Biology-online.org, (2014).Glycocalyx - definition from Biology-Online.org. [online] Available: http://www.biology-online.org/dictionary/Glycocalyx [Accessed 19 Nov. 2014].</ref>.
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*Adhesion with other cells: proteins in the cell surface of other cells will bind to the [[Carbohydrates|carbohydrates involved]] in making up the glycocalyx<ref>Alberts, Johnson, Lewis, Raff, Roberts and Walter (2008) Molecular biology of the cell 5th Edition. New York. Garland Science, Taylor and Francis group. p637</ref><ref>Biology-online.org, (2014).Glycocalyx - definition from Biology-Online.org. [online] Available: http://www.biology-online.org/dictionary/Glycocalyx [Accessed 19 Nov. 2014].</ref>.
  
 
The formation of the glycocalyx occurs by the movement of sugars within intracellular membrane-bound [[Organelles|organelles]] to the [[Plasma membrane|plasma membrane]] via [[Vesicles|vesicles]]: in the [[Golgi apparatus|Golgi apparatus]] the proteins are modified and sugars or other molecules are added. The proteins leave the Golgi in vesicles: the glycocalyx is made via the insertion of these vesicles into the [[Plasma membrane|plasma membrane]] where the sugars, lipids and carbohydrates are on the outside of the cell.  
 
The formation of the glycocalyx occurs by the movement of sugars within intracellular membrane-bound [[Organelles|organelles]] to the [[Plasma membrane|plasma membrane]] via [[Vesicles|vesicles]]: in the [[Golgi apparatus|Golgi apparatus]] the proteins are modified and sugars or other molecules are added. The proteins leave the Golgi in vesicles: the glycocalyx is made via the insertion of these vesicles into the [[Plasma membrane|plasma membrane]] where the sugars, lipids and carbohydrates are on the outside of the cell.  

Revision as of 17:19, 23 October 2018

The glycocalyx is a system of protein-linked (glycoproteins) and lipid-linked carbohydrates that span the plasma membrane of a eukaryotic cell forming a slimy layer. The transmembrane proteins (a form of integral membrane protein) - forming the glycoproteins - are the main way that the carbohydrate layer is held in place in the layer.

The layer also contains proteoglycans[1].

The glycocalyx has a number of important functions:

The formation of the glycocalyx occurs by the movement of sugars within intracellular membrane-bound organelles to the plasma membrane via vesicles: in the Golgi apparatus the proteins are modified and sugars or other molecules are added. The proteins leave the Golgi in vesicles: the glycocalyx is made via the insertion of these vesicles into the plasma membrane where the sugars, lipids and carbohydrates are on the outside of the cell.

Each cell type has its own, specific, glycosylation pattern. The glycosylation pattern depends on the membrane association proteins and the carbohydrate attached. Carbohydrates can be attached through the nitrogen in asparagine or the oxygen in serine and threonine. The carbohydrates that are attached can form complex, very diverse branches. The diversity is the basis of interactions and coordination between cells, other cells and their environment.

References:

  1. Alberts, Johnson, Lewis, Raff, Roberts and Walter (2008) Molecular biology of the cell 5th Edition. New York. Garland Science, Taylor and Francis group. p637
  2. Alberts, Johnson, Lewis, Raff, Roberts and Walter (2008) Molecular biology of the cell 5th Edition. New York. Garland Science, Taylor and Francis group. p637
  3. Biology-online.org, (2014).Glycocalyx - definition from Biology-Online.org. [online] Available: http://www.biology-online.org/dictionary/Glycocalyx [Accessed 19 Nov. 2014].
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