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What is the primary difference between a glycoprotein and a proteoglycan?


In glycoproteins, the protein component is synthesized first, then a nascent carbohydrate group is covalently attached to the protein. For proteoglycans, the carbohydrate was generated first, then a newly-made peptide attached.


Glycoproteins are found only in the membrane and proteoglycans are found only in the cytosol.


Glycoproteins have a higher protein content by mass, being typically 50%+ of the total mass. Proteoglycans have a much higher carbohydrate content, with carbohydrates comprising typically 95%+ of the total mass.


There is no difference; the two terms are simply different terms for the same type of biomolecule.

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