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Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates

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09/29/2012

 
Carbohydrates
Topics
1.
Structural Basis 2. Classification 3. Energy Reserves of Life 4. Basic Metabolic Functions 5. Metabolic Disorders Due to Carbohydrates Deficiency 6. Diabetes Mellitus 
1.
Structural Basis 
Carbohydrates, the prime most of the carbon compounds found in living tissues arebiomacromolecules having a molecular weight of more than thousand Dalton.Structurally, carbohydrates are compound of aldehydes and ketones. Presence of hydroxyl groups gives uniqueness to their structure.
2. Classification 
 Carbohydrates are structurally classified into three types from the simplestmonosaccharides to the complex polysaccharides.
Monosaccharides: 
Classification of carbohydrates starts from the simplest monosaccharides. They can berepresented by the empirical formula of (C – H
2
O)
n
. ‘n’ denotes the number of carbonatoms. If a monosaccharide possess 3 carbon atoms (n = 3), it is a triose. Similarly atetrose, pentose, hexose and heptose can be formed with 4, 5, 6 and 7 carbon atomsrespectively.Monosaccharides can be further classified into two types, aldoses and ketoses based ontheir functional groups. Dihydroxyacetone, a triose is a well known example of ketosewhereas glyceraldehyde is an aldose.
 
 
Enantiomers: 
Enantiomers are nonsuperimposable stereoisomers, which are indeed exact mirror images of each other. Except the tendency to rotate the plane-polarized light, twoenantiomers possess similar physical and chemical properties in a symmetricenvironment. We can differentiate the two as (+) and (-) depending on its optical activityof rotating the plane-polarized light.(+) and (-) signs indicate the opposite directions. Hence while rotating the planepolarized light, the enantiomers do rotation which is equal in magnitude but opposite indirections. For example, if (+) enantiomer rotates the plane polarized light for say, 10degrees in the right direction, then the (-) enantiomer rotates the plane polarized light for the same 10 degrees to the left.
 
 Depending on the geometry of the isomers, enantiomers can be designated as ‘D’ and‘L’ as prefixes in front of the name of their compounds.The well known monosaccharide, Glyceraldehyde which is an aldose consists of a singleasymmetric carbon atom and hence has two enantiomers commonly denoted as D –glyceraldehyde and L – glyceraldehyde.
Fischer Projections: 
The figures depict the structure of D and L- Glyceraldehyde shown in Fischer projections. It was devised by Hermann Emil Fischer in 1891.The three dimensional view of a compound with an asymmetrical carbon can be easilydrawn in two dimensions using this Fischer projection. A long vertical line in thisrepresents the maximum lengthened continuous carbon chain. The carbon chain isoriented in such a way that the C1 carbon is at the top.All along the length of this vertical line, we can intersect with a series of horizontal linesto represent atoms or atom groups their ends. The point where the horizontal lines areintersecting the vertical line is considered as a carbon atom.Comparing the three dimensional view of molecules, the atoms or atom groups inFischer projections which are shown at the ends of horizontal lines along the extensionof the vertical line, has to be projected in front of the plane. The atoms which are alongthe vertical line have to be projected behind the plane.

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