Carbohydrates

ID #1022

How is a dimer different than a disaccharide? I know that a dimer is defined as a molecule composed of 2 similar subunits or monomers linked together, how is this linkage different than the condensation reaction that keeps to monosaccharides together?


The word "dimer" is a more general term than the word "disaccharide." A disaccharide is a dimer of two monosaccharides, but a dipeptide is a dimer of two amino acids, and so on. Dimer just means there are two parts to it. They don't have to be identical either. A functional protein that exists as two subunits would be called dimeric too, but if those subunits were different polypeptide chains, we'd call it a heterodimer.

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