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 (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 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 and Francis group. p637</ref>, which contain a protein core with long polysaccharide chains covalently linked to it<ref>Alberts B, Johnson A, Lewis J, Morgan D, Raff M, Roberts K, Walter P. Molecular Biology of the Cell. 6th edition, New York: Garland Science, Taylor and Francis Group. 2015. Page 582.</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>., which contain a protein core with long polysaccharide chains covalently linked to it<ref>Alberts B, Johnson A, Lewis J, Morgan D, Raff M, Roberts K, Walter P. Molecular Biology of the Cell. 6th edition, New York: Garland Science, Taylor and Francis Group. 2015. Page 582.</ref>.
  
 
The glycocalyx has a number of important functions:  
 
The glycocalyx has a number of important functions:  

Latest revision as of 18:13, 6 December 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]., which contain a protein core with long polysaccharide chains covalently linked to it[2].

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 B, Johnson A, Lewis J, Morgan D, Raff M, Roberts K, Walter P. Molecular Biology of the Cell. 6th edition, New York: Garland Science, Taylor and Francis Group. 2015. Page 582.
  3. Alberts, Johnson, Lewis, Raff, Roberts and Walter (2008) Molecular biology of the cell 5th Edition. New York. Garland Science, Taylor and Francis group. p637
  4. 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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