The main difference between trehalose and maltose is that trehalose is a non-reducing disaccharide, whereas maltose is a reducing sugar.
Trehalose and maltose are two types of disaccharides that are composed of two glucose molecules. Generally, trehalose occurs in mushrooms, while maltose occurs in malt.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Trehalose
– Definition, Structure, Function
2. What is Maltose
– Definition, Structure, Function
3. Similarities Between Trehalose and Maltose
– Outline of Common Features
4. Difference Between Trehalose and Maltose
– Comparison of Key Differences
What is Trehalose
Trehalose is non-reducing sugar made up of two glucose units. It also has a 1,1-glycosidic bond between the two glucose units. Trehalose is very resistant to hydrolysis due to the presence of bonding. Therefore, it is stable in solutions at high temperatures and under acidic conditions. In addition, the two glucose units occur in close-ring forms, like in aldehyde or ketone. Generally, trehalose does not bind to protein residues such as lysine and arginine, so it does not undergo glycosylation. Apart from that, trehalose is less soluble than sucrose except at high temperatures.
Furthermore, trehalose occurs as a monomer in polysaccharides in nature. Generally, there is an industrial process that produces trehalose from corn starch. Invertebrate animals, plants, fungi, and some bacteria synthesize trehalose as a source of energy. Apart from that, there are two features of trehalose that make it very important: survival at freezing and lack of water. Therefore, trehalose preserves biological molecules against stress.
What is Maltose
Maltose is a sugar that contains two glucose units, containing α (1→4) bonds between them. It serves as a member of amylose, the key structural motif of starch. Therefore, the beta-amylase breakdown of starch produces maltose. In general, beta-amylase removes two glucose units at a time. Also, the breakdown of starch occurs in germinating seeds. Maltose is a reducing disaccharide. Hence, it opens to present a free aldehyde group. Maltase is also the enzyme responsible for the breakdown of maltose, catalyzing the hydrolysis of the glycosidic bond.
Moreover, maltose exhibits mutarotation, forming α and β isomers in aqueous solutions. Generally, different conformations of the anomeric carbon are responsible for different specific rotations in aqueous solutions. Significantly, germinating grains contain maltose. In addition, maltose occurs in different quantities in partly hydrolyzed products of starch, including maltodextrin, acid-thinned starch, and corn syrup.
Similarities Between Trehalose and Maltose
- Trehalose and maltose are two types of disaccharides.
- They contain two alpha-glucose molecules.
Difference Between Trehalose and Maltose
Trehalose refers to a sugar of the disaccharide class produced by some fungi, yeasts, and similar organisms, while maltose refers to a sugar produced by the breakdown of starch, e.g. by enzymes found in malt and saliva.
Type of Sugar
Trehalose is a non-reducing sugar, while maltose is a reducing sugar.
Trehalose contains a 1,1-glycosidic bond between two α-glucose units, while maltose contains an α (1→4) bond between the two α-glucose units.
Trehalose occurs in mushrooms, while maltose occurs in malt.
Trehalose is produced industrially from corn starch, but maltose is produced from germinating grains.
In brief, trehalose and maltose are two types of disaccharides that contain two alpha-glucose molecules. Generally, trehalose is a non-reducing sugar that contains a 1,1-glycosidic bond between two alpha-glucose units. Moreover, trehalose occurs in mushrooms. In comparison, maltose is a reducing sugar that contains an α (1→4) bond between the two α-glucose units. In addition, maltose occurs in malt. Therefore, the main difference between trehalose and maltose is the type of sugar.
- “Disaccharides.” Chemistry LibreTexts.
- “Trehalose” By Fvasconcellos – Own work (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
- “Maltose2” By NEUROtiker – Own Work (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
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