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Cellodextrins are glucose polymers of varying length (2+ glucose monomers) resulting from the cellulolysys (breakdown of cellulose).


A cellodextrin is classified by its degree of polymerization (DP) which indicates the numbr of linked glucose monomers it contains. Each glucose monomer is linked via a beta-1,4 glycosidic bond. The most common cellodextrins are listed below:

cellobiose (DP=2) (sometimes not included in cellodextrin classification)

cellotriose (DP=3)

cellotetrose (DP=4)

cellopentose (DP=5)

cellohexose (DP=6)


Cellodextrins are created through the cleavage of cellulose in most anaerobic bacteria by the cellusome (an amalgamation of cellulolytic enzymes on the outside of a cell). An endoglucanase first cuts the crystalline cellulose in an amorphous zone and exoglucanases subsequently cleave these large insoluble chunks of cellulose into smaller, soluble cellodextrins which can be used by the cell.

Many cellulolytic bacteria use cellodextrins as their primary source of energy. The energy is obtained through the phosphorolytic cleavage of glycosidic bonds as well as the anaerobic catabolism of the glucose monomers. Transport of cellodextrins across the cell membrane is usually an active process, requiring ATP.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Cellodextrins". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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