How do the structures of proteins differ from the structures of carbohydrates?

1 Answer
Apr 15, 2018

Both are considered macromolecules. I'll explain below


Proeins are like a huge Lego construction. Each individual piece gets pieced together to make a larger "thing" - Death Star, House, etc. Each individual piece is a monomer, and the larger construction is the polymer. The monomers are Amino Acids and they get pieced together to form the polymer that is called a protein. The linkage that they use is an amide bond, and in biology it is usually called a peptide bond.

Carbohydrates can be singular monomers or polymer units. They are made of completely different compounds - usually aldehydes or ketones. And they link together through different chemical linkages (acetal or ketal linkages for polymers,hemiacetal or hemiketal linkages for monomers).

Both can be large, 3D strucutres - proteins are only functional as a large, 3D structure, while carbohydrates can be singular.