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Chapter1_BCH461

Chapter1_BCH461 - BCH 461 Chapter 1 Foundations of...

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BCH 461 Chapter 1 Foundations of Biochemistry
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The Goals of Biochemistry Biochemistry asks how the remarkable properties of living organisms arise from the thousands of different biomolecules . Biochemistry describes in molecular terms the structure , mechanisms , and chemical processes shared by all organisms and provides organizing principles that underlie life in all its diverse forms, principles we refer to collectively as the molecular logic of life .
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Distinguishing features of living organisms A high degree of chemical complexity and microscopic organization . Systems for extracting, transforming, and using energy from the environment. Defined functions for each of an organism’s components and regulated interactions among them.
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Distinguishing features of living organisms Mechanisms for sensing and responding to alterations in their surroundings. A capacity for precise self-replication and self-assembly . A capacity to change over time by gradual evolution .
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1.1 Cellular foundations Cells are structural and functional units of all living organisms
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Prokaryotes Vs. Eukaryotes Prokaryotes: (bacteria and archaea) nucleus or nucleoid not separated from the cytoplasm by a membrane
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Prokaryotes Vs. Eukaryotes Eukaryotes: (animal and plant cells) Nuclear materials are separated from cytoplasm and enclosed within a double membrane called the nuclear envelope
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Cellular dimension are limited by diffusion •Animal and plant cells are typically 5-100 um in diameter and many unicellular microorganisms are only 1 to 2 um long. •The upper limit of cell size is probably set by the rate of diffusion of solute molecules in aqueous system, e.g. diffusion of oxygen into cells for metabolic reactions.
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Cells contents can be separated for study
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The cytoplasm is organized by the cytoskeleton and is highly dynamic
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Cells build supramolecular structures from simple organic compounds •Amino acids ---> Proteins •Nucleotides---> DNA & RNA
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•Fatty acid derivatives ---> Lipids •Sugars ---> polysaccharides
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Structural hierarchy in the molecular organization of cells
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1.2 Chemical Foundations • Four most abundant elements in living organisms: H, O, N, C, 99% of the mass of most cells. • The trace elements are essential to the function of specific proteins. Biochemist’s periodic table
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Element Dry Weight (%) Element Dry Weight (%) C 61.7 Ca 5.0 N 11.0 K 3.3 O 9.3 S 1.0 H 5.7 Cl 0.7 Na 0.7 Mg 0.3
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What property unites H, O, C and N and renders these atoms so appropriate to the chemistry of life? Answer: Their ability to form covalent bonds by electron-pair sharing. They are the lightest elements capable of efficiently forming stable one, two, three and four covalent bonds.
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Versatility of carbon bonding
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Geometry of carbon bonding
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