Mucopolysaccharides a.k.a. Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are long chains of sugars (carbohydrates) present in each cell of the body as well as in the fluid lubricating our joints. GAGs are highly polar water-binding molecules that can hold nearly 1000 times their own weight and are found in vertebrates, invertebrates, and bacteria. They help in building bones, cartilage, tendons, corneas, skin, and connective tissues, etc. Mucopolysaccharides in combination with proteins form Mucoproteins or proteoglycans.
Based on their core disaccharide structures, GAGs are classified into four groups-
Decrease in amount of enzymes breaking GAGs can result in permanent progressive cellular damage that affects the individual’s appearance, physical abilities, organ and system functioning, and mostly mental development.