Glycogen is a carbohydrate similar to amylopectin, but larger. It can contain up to 500000 glucose monomers. The structure is a complicated branching structure, starting with the basic component of amylose, a series of 100 to 1000 glucose monomers linked by α(1->4) linkages (similar to maltose). These molecules are lined up in a branched structure, like the extedending tendrils of a tree. The difference between the branched form of amylopectin and that of glycogen is that glycogen's branches are shorter and more frequent.

As for biological functions, 10% of the liver's mass is made of glycogen, and 2% of muscle mass.

Gly"co*gen (?), n. [Gr. sweet + -gen: cf. F. glycogene.] Physiol. Chem.

A white, amorphous, tasteless substance resembling starch, soluble in water to an opalescent fluid. It is found abundantly in the liver of most animals, and in small quantity in other organs and tissues, particularly in the embryo. It is quickly changed into sugar when boiled with dilute sulphuric or hydrochloric acid, and also by the action of amylolytic ferments.

<-- polysaccharide, used as a sugar storage substance in animals -->


© Webster 1913.

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