Organic molecules, Biology

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Organic Molecules

  • Some organic molecules in life are
    • Carbohydrates and Lipids à C, H and O
    • Proteins à C, H, O, N & sometimes S
    • Nucleic acids à C, H, O, N & P

                     Can also contain traces of Mg and Fe (e.g. in proteins)

  • Functional groups è atoms that tend to react a certain way
    • Contribute to chemical & physical properties of the molecule
    • E.g.

                       Alcohols à hydroxyl group (-OH)

                      Carboxylic Acids à carboxyl group (-COOH)

                      Amino à amine/amide (NH)

                      Sulfhydryl à (-SH)

                      Phosphates à (-OOP=O)

                      Carbonyl à Aldehydes and Ketones (=O)

o   Can participate in redox, acid-base, condensation/dehydration & hydrolysis reactions

  • The oxidation of alcohols into aldehydes into carboxylic acids
    • Important for fatty acids
    • Thiols è form disulfide linkages upon oxidation àimportant in protein synthesis (formation of macromolecules)
  • Carbon
    • Has four valence electrons and can form straight branched chains or rings
    • Provides a backbone for biological molecules
    • C-H are non-polar bonds
    • Link up with atoms to form functional groups
  • Biological macromolecules
    • Large molecules (polymers) made of repeating subunits (monomers)

                     Carbohydrates à glucose subunits (sugars)

                     Proteins à amino acid subunits (enzymes)

                     Lipids à glycerol and fatty acid subunits (triglycerides)

                    Nucleic acids à nucleotide subunits (DNA and RNA)

                 o   Monomer must have at least 1 functional group to form a monomer

                     1 functional group è dimer


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