Glycoproteins Its Meaning and Functions In The Body

If you’re a science person, the word glycol should be familiar to you. Glycoprotein is a kind of protein that has sugar in it. Glycol means sugar in science, so glycoproteins are proteins which have sugar on the outer coatings of its cell.

Glycoproteins Its Meaning and Functions In The Body

What Are Glycoproteins

To explain this, you may see some technical words, but don’t worry, you will get the hang of it in the end.

The sugar in glycoproteins can be attached in two locations of the cell: the endoplasmic rectum and the Golgi apparatus. We then have the O-linked sugars which attach to the oxygen atoms and the N-linked sugars which attach to the nitrogen atoms. These structures give them different functions.

Glycol proteins are always found on the outer plasma membrane with the sugar molecules facing out.


Glycoproteins have a role in nearly every process in a cell. They perform several functions in our bodies, and we will be looking at these functions closely.


Without glycol proteins, the white blood cells in the body wouldn’t be able to function. As the white blood cells search for invaders, they need glycoprotein’s lectins to attach to the blood vessel lining. Without this, white blood cells won’t be able to move around the body, making it impossible for them to function.

Glycoproteins also determine our blood type. A blood type means you have A antigens or A glycoproteins on your red blood cells. This sends the signal that your body is part of you and stops it from attacking those cells.

They also play an essential role in the coating of blood when you have an injury. People who are missing essential proteins on palettes have hard time coating injuries. Diabetic patients, for example, may experience continuous bleeding because they lack enough glycoproteins.


Organs in the body sometimes need to secrete mucus to work properly. And this mucus uses the sugar and water found in your body. This mucus protects delicate organs like your stomach from harmful acids. The sugar used by the body is from glycoproteins.

Glycoproteins Its Meaning and Functions In The Body

Glycoproteins also keep our skin healthy by staying on the surface as epithelial cells. These cells are the glue to our other skin cells, which form a thicker barrier.

Glycoproteins Serve Several Other Functions:

Transport molecules, forming enzymes such as phosphatase, alkaline and papain, antifreeze proteins, and regulating development. Our hormones are also made with glycoprotein.

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