Basic Sciences for Dental Students, Whawell S.A., Lambert D.W., 2018

Basic Sciences for Dental Students, Whawell S.A., Lambert D.W., 2018.

   As complex as the human body is, it is heavily dependent on just four atoms for its composition: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen. These atoms form structurally diverse groups of biologically important molecules, their structure always relating to their function in the same way that the cells and tissues of the body are adapted. Biomolecules commonly take part in relatively simple reactions which are subject to complex control to finely tune the essential processes that they mediate. Biomolecules are often large polymers made up from smaller molecular monomers and even though there are thousands of molecules in a cell there are relatively few major biomolecule classes. Fatty acids, monosaccharides, amino acids and nucleotides form di- and triglycerides, polysaccharides, proteins and nucleic acids respectively.

Basic Sciences for Dental Students, Whawell S.A., Lambert D.W., 2018

Oligosaccharides and Polysaccharides.
Monosaccharides are metabolized to provide energy (see sections Carbohydrates as a Fuel and The TCA Cycle for more on this) or, as just outlined, act as building blocks to form polysaccharides. Polysaccharides perform a wide variety of roles in the cell. They can be made up of either one type of monosaccharide (homopolysaccharide) or either more than one (heteropolysaccharide) and can form either linear or branched chains. A good example of a linear polysaccharide is cellulose, which is the main structural component of plant cell walls. The long chains of monosaccharides are heavily hydrogen-bonded to neighbouring chains and, in the plant cell wall, are embedded in a matrix of other polysaccharides, making it very strong and insoluble. A closely related polysaccharide, chitin, forms the exoskeleton of insects and crustaceans and has similar properties. As well as having structural roles, polysaccharides are also very important storage molecules. Starch, the storage molecule of plants, is made up of two polysaccharides: amylose and amylopectin. Amylose is a coiled string of glucose molecules whereas amylopectin is a heavily branched molecule.

Starch is partially digested by a salivary enzyme, amylase (see Figure 1.4), which hydrolyses the glycosidic bonds. In animals, carbohydrate storage is accomplished by glycogen, a heavily branched polysaccharide (much like amylopectin) that is hydrolysed by glycogen phosphorylase. Polysaccharides also occur as glycosaminoglycans. These are elastic, flexible molecules that are a component of cartilage, skin and tendons.

List of Contributors.
About the Companion Website.
1 Biomolecules.
Daniel W. Lambert and Simon A. Whawell.
2 Cell Biology.
Daniel W. Lambert and Simon A. Whawell.
3 Tissues of the Body.
Daniel W. Lambert, Aileen Crawford and Simon A. Whawell.
4 The Cardiovascular, Circulatory and Pulmonary Systems.
Peter P. Jones.
5 The Nervous System.
Fiona M. Boissonade.
6 Introduction to Immunology.
John J. Taylor.
7 Oral Microbiology.
Angela H. Nobbs.
8 Introduction to Pathology.
Paula M. Farthing.
9 Head and Neck Anatomy.
Stuart Hunt.
10 Tooth Development, Tooth Morphology and Tooth‐Supporting Structures.
Alistair J. Sloan.
11 Craniofacial Development.
Abigail S. Tucker.
12 Saliva and Salivary Glands.
Gordon B. Proctor.
13 Introduction to Dental Materials.
Paul V. Hatton and Cheryl A. Miller.

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2023-01-31 10:12:01