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4. Sugars

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In this mini-lecture we look at sugars, starting with the most common monosaccharide, glucose. We learn about its 6-membered ring structure, and some of its intricacies such as the anomeric centre. We then turn to pentose sugars briefly and look at the similarities and differences between the two. Finally, we learn that monosaccharides such as glucose can polymerise to form polysaccharides, and the way in which glucose and other monosaccharides polymerise results in different types of polysaccharide. We compare the structures of starch, glycogen and cellulose and try to understand how the differences in their structures help with their function.


In this course Prof. Sabine Flitsch (University of Manchester) introduces biomolecules. What do we mean when we say ‘biomolecule’, and what kinds of biomolecules exist? Modern research spans biomolecules of all sorts, and we introduce: (i) the classes of biomolecules that make up an organism in order of hierarchy; the genome, the transcriptome, the proteome, and the metabolome; (ii) the nucleic acids, DNA and RNA, their structure and function and uses in medicine and biotechnology; (iii) the structure and function of proteins and their building blocks, amino acids; and (iv) sugars, looking some of at their monomeric structures, as well as learning about their polymers.


Prof. Sabine Flitsch is a Professor of Chemistry and Chair of Chemical Biology at the University of Manchester. Her research group is housed in the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology. Her research interests are in glycosciences, biocatalysis, and protein-ligand interactions. Most recently, she has started to use biocatalysts on substrates attached to the solid phase, which are of interest in high-throughput chemical synthesis and biological analysis. For her work, she has won the RSC Interdisciplinary Prize, the Zeneca Research Award and the Glaxo Wellcome award for Innovative Chemistry.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Flitsch, S. (2022, January 12). Biomolecules - Sugars [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Flitsch, Sabine. "Biomolecules – Sugars." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 12 Jan 2022,

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