Chapter 5 - Chapter 5 The structure and Function of...

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Chapter 5- The structure and Function of Macromolecules General information: The four main classes of large biological molecules are carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and nucleic acids. These large biological molecules are called macromolecules or polymers and consist of thousands of smaller covalently connected atoms called monomers. A polymer is a long molecule consisting of many similar or identical building blocks linked by covalent bonds. A monomer is a small molecule or one of the repeating units that serves as building blocks of a polymer. Monomers are connected by Condensation Reactions through the loss of a water molecule. This is a Dehydration reaction. This reaction occurs with the help of enzymes as energy is needed to carry out remove the H and OH bonds from the monomers. Specialized enzymes speed up chemical reactions. Polymers are broken down to monomers via hydrolysis , a reverse process of dehydration. An example of hydrolysis in the body is digestion where certain enzymes attack the polymers speeding up hydrolysis. The released monomers are absorbed into the blood stream for distribution to all cells, where the cells reassemble the monomers into new polymers that differed from the ones ingested and perform specific functions. There is a diversity in polymers, even though there are only about 40-50 known monomers. This is indeed possible due to the arrangement of the monomers. The polymers have emergent properties that were not there in the monomers. 1 | P a g e
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Carbohydrates Carbohydrates include both sugars and the polymers of sugars. Monosaccharides: 1. Have molecular formulas with a multiple of the unit CH 2 O. 2. Glucose C 6 H 12 O 6 is the most common monosaccharide and is important in the chemistry of life. Glucose has 2 slightly different ring structures, alpha and beta, depending on if the first carbon, C-1, is bonded to the OH group below or above the ring respectively. 3. The trademark of sugar is the carbonyl group C=O and multiple O-H groups. 4. Depending on the location of the carbonyl group, the sugar can be either an aldose or ketose. Glucose is an aldose, while fructose is a ketose. (basically isomers) 5. Most names of sugars end in –ose. 6. Classification based on the sizes of the carbon skeleton. Hexoses- contain 6 Carbon sugars Pentoses- contain 5 Carbon sugars Trioses- contain 3 Carbon sugars 2 | P a g e
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7. Sugars also differ in spatial arrangement, i.e. small differences around an asymmetric carbon. Glucose and Galactose differ because of this and have 2 separate distinct shapes and behaviours. 8. Most sugars form rings. 9. Simple sugars are a major fuel for cellular work, in cellular respiration. Also sugars act as raw materials for the synthesis of many different types of small organic molecules such as amino acids and fatty acids. Sugars do not undergo these reactions and prefer to be incorporated into disaccharides and polysaccharides. Disaccharides:
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Chapter 5 - Chapter 5 The structure and Function of...

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