In a molecular dynamics simulation study of several oligosaccharides comprising of the very basic building block of carbohydrate, the α- or β-d glucopyranose units, linked by any one of the 1-3/1-4 or 1-6 glycosidic linkages, we compare and contrast their structural and dynamical properties. Results indicate that the litheness of the oligosaccharide chain is noticeably controlled by the composition, anomeric nature and glycosidic linkage type of the units. In mixed β 1-4/1-3 d-glucopyranosides, as those found in oats and barley, the ratio of the β 1-4 and β 1-3 linked residues is crucial in determining the structural and dynamical attributes. Principal component analysis (PCA) using the internal coordinates of torsion angles subtended by glycosidic oxygen atoms and subsequent K-means clustering of the dynamical space spanned by PC1 to PC2 point to the dynamical and structural disparity in the various types of oligosaccharides studied. The properties simulated in this work are meant to provide a systematic yet comparative understanding of the importance of linkage and anomericity on the oligosaccharide chain properties and are in line with some experimental structural attributes.
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