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Cellulose is the most abundant biopolymer on earth. It occurs in plant cell walls and in bacteria. Common materials containing high amounts of cellulose are wood, paper, and cotton. Cellulose is a water-insoluble polysaccharide that humans can not digest. It is a linear polymer of beta-1,4 linked glucose building blocks, with chains arranged in microfibrils held together by hydrogen bonds and hydrophobic interactions. Cellulose is related to but distinct from starch, a water-soluble carbohydrate containing alpha-1,4 linked glucose building blocks that is digestible by humans.


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See also

LEcture slides by Eero Kontturi, Aalto University, Espoo, Finland: https://mycourses.aalto.fi/pluginfile.php/148341/mod_folder/content/0/Lecture%202%20-%20Cellulose%20structure.pdf?forcedownload=1


  1. Gomes TC, Skaf MS. Cellulose-builder: a toolkit for building crystalline structures of cellulose. J Comput Chem. 2012 May 30;33(14):1338-46. doi: 10.1002/jcc.22959. Epub 2012 Mar , 15. PMID:22419406 doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jcc.22959
  2. Nishiyama Y, Langan P, Chanzy H. Crystal structure and hydrogen-bonding system in cellulose Ibeta from synchrotron X-ray and neutron fiber diffraction. J Am Chem Soc. 2002 Aug 7;124(31):9074-82. doi: 10.1021/ja0257319. PMID:12149011 doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ja0257319

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