In my biochemistry course I have to know about various polysaccharides and variants, and I am struggling with remembering them. I think it would help if I could break down their names.

For 'glycosaminoglycan' i think

-glycan just refers to the fact that it is a polysaccharide. Some, but not all polysaccharides have glycan in their name, e.g. glycogen vs amylase and amylopectin

-amino means there is an amino group somewhere in there?

That's all I can think of...

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Find a booklet about chemical nomenclature, I used to get one for free as a scientific bookshop. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemical_nomenclature I am sure there are also plenty websites with catalogs of this. $\endgroup$ – skymningen Dec 14 '16 at 12:02
  • $\begingroup$ There is a specific method for drawing a molecule based on it's named components. Organic Chemistry generally requires that you understand the main nomenclature, look for videos on it if you need different infos. $\endgroup$ – com.prehensible Dec 15 '16 at 8:13

Glycosamines (or amino-sugars) are monosaccharide derivatives with an amino group substituting the hydroxyl group at second carbon. Glycosaminoglycans (GAG) usually contain repeats of a disaccharide unit one of the component of which is an amino sugar. GAGs are not strictly polymers of amino sugar monomers as the name might misleadingly suggest.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.