Glycoproteins provide many functions: they give structural support to cells, help to form connective tissues and facilitate digestion by producing secretions and mucous in the gastrointestinal tract. Glycoproteins are handy cell components and are found in many places within cells.
Glycoproteins are located in cell walls, blood plasma and connective tissues, and they have fine structural differences depending on their location. They also play key roles in reproduction and occur on the surface of spermatozoa, increasing the likelihood of a sperm cell’s attraction to eggs by altering the permeability of plasma membranes. These proteins may also adhere to cells and enable development of functional tissues in the body.