Donald Winslow St. Gregory's University 21 January 2014 Fundamentals of Biochemistry
Biochemistry • Chemistry of carbon • Organic compounds • Monomers & polymers • Types of organic molecules in cells • Diversity of shapes • Hydrolysis and dehydration synthesis
Chemistry of carbon Methane (CH4) Drawn with Jmol
Organic compounds • An organic compound is a compound containing carbon. • Don't confuse with “organic” in “organic agriculture”. • Pesticides are organic compounds • “Organic” means no synthetic pesticides
Monomers and polymers • What is a monomer? • What is a polymer?
Monomers and polymers • What is a monomer? • A small, unitary molecule • What is a polymer? • A large molecule built of monomers • Often a chain of monomers Alanine, an amino acid Drawn with Jmol Glycine and alanine can form a peptide bond, resulting in a dipeptide molecule. Many amino acids can link together to form a polypeptide, which can fold into a protein. Drawn with Jmol
What are the four main categories of organic compounds found in cells? • Lipids • Carbohydrates • Amino acids & proteins • Nucleic acids
Diversity of molecular shapes Transfer RNA
Hydrolysis & dehydration synthesis Hydrolysis Splits polymer into smaller molecules, using a water molecule. Dehydration synthesis Builds polymer from two smaller molecules, releasing water.