Supporting tissues of multicellular organisms are greatly diverse in outward form but serve similar physical and chemical functions. They possess extracellular matrices having structures that reflect common principles of organization at various dimensional levels. Mechanical needs are met typically by systems of microfibrils composed of protein and polysaccharide subunits and embedded in a ground substance containing proteins, polyanionic proteoglycans, and polysaccharides. Although the matrix macromolecules of both plants and animals are broadly related in functional properties and in mechanisms of biosynthesis from simple precursor molecules, they vary considerably in chemical structure.
KeywordsPolysaccharide Acid Sulfation Polypeptide Fibril Macromolecule
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