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Membrane carbohydrates are important for cell

Membrane carbohydrates are important for cell - Membrane...

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Unformatted text preview: Membrane carbohydrates are important for cell-cell recognition. The plasma membrane plays the key role in cell-cell recognition. Cell-cell recognition, the ability of a cell to distinguish one type of neighboring cell from another, is crucial to the functioning of an organism. This attribute is important in the sorting and organization of cells into tissues and organs during development. It is also the basis for rejection of foreign cells by the immune system. Cells recognize other cells by binding to surface molecules, often carbohydrates, on the plasma membrane. Membrane carbohydrates are usually branched oligosaccharides with fewer than 15 sugar units. They may be covalently bonded to lipids, forming glycolipids, or more commonly to proteins, forming glycoproteins. The oligosaccharides on the external side of the plasma membrane vary from species to species, from individual to individual, and even from cell type to cell type within the same...
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