Find the word definition


n. (context chemistry English) Any polysaccharide or oligosaccharide, especially one that is part of a glycoprotein or glycolipid

Not to be confused with glucan.

The terms glycan and polysaccharide are defined by IUPAC as synonyms meaning "compounds consisting of a large number of monosaccharides linked glycosidically". However, in practice the term glycan may also be used to refer to the carbohydrate portion of a glycoconjugate, such as a glycoprotein, glycolipid, or a proteoglycan, even if the carbohydrate is only an oligosaccharide. Glycans usually consist solely of O-glycosidic linkages of monosaccharides. For example, cellulose is a glycan (or, to be more specific, a glucan) composed of β-1,4-linked D-glucose, and chitin is a glycan composed of β-1,4-linked N-acetyl-D-glucosamine. Glycans can be homo- or heteropolymers of monosaccharide residues, and can be linear or branched.

Usage examples of "glycan".

First, fragments of not-yet-peptided glycan are assembled inside the cytoplasm.

Then the glycan chunks are hauled out to the cell wall by a chemical scaffolding of lipid carrier molecules, and they are fitted in place.