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Trisaccharides are oligosaccharides composed of three monosaccharides with two glycosidic bonds connecting them. Similar to the disaccharides, each glycosidic bond can be formed between any hydroxyl group on the component monosaccharides. Even if all three component sugars are the same (e.g., glucose), different bond combinations (regiochemistry) and stereochemistry (alpha- or beta-) result in trisaccharides that are diastereoisomers with different chemical and physical properties.


Trisaccharide Unit 1 Bond Unit 2 Bond Unit 3
Nigerotriose glucose α(1→3) glucose α(1→3) glucose
Maltotriose glucose α(1→4) glucose α(1→4) glucose
Melezitose glucose α(1→2) fructose α(1→3) glucose
Maltotriulose glucose α(1→4) glucose α(1→4) fructose
Raffinose galactose α(1→6) glucose β(1→2) fructose
Kestose glucose α(1↔2) fructose β(1←2) fructose


1) Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry by Albert L. Lehninger, David L. Nelson, and Michael M. Cox.

2) Biochemistry by Lubert Stryer.