Chapter1_BCH461

Chapter1_BCH461 - BCH 461 Chapter 1 Foundations of...

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Unformatted text preview: BCH 461 Chapter 1 Foundations of Biochemistry 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 . 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 organisms components and regulated interactions among them. 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 . 1.1 Cellular foundations Cells are structural and functional units of all living organisms Prokaryotes Vs. Eukaryotes Prokaryotes: (bacteria and archaea) nucleus or nucleoid not separated from the cytoplasm by a membrane Prokaryotes Vs. Eukaryotes Eukaryotes: (animal and plant cells) Nuclear materials are separated from cytoplasm and enclosed within a double membrane called the nuclear envelope 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. Cells contents can be separated for study The cytoplasm is organized by the cytoskeleton and is highly dynamic Cells build supramolecular structures from simple organic compounds Amino acids ---> Proteins Nucleotides---> DNA & RNA Fatty acid derivatives ---> Lipids Sugars ---> polysaccharides Structural hierarchy in the molecular organization of cells 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. Biochemists periodic table 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 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. Versatility of carbon bonding Geometry of carbon bonding Covalently linked carbon atoms in biomolecules can form linear chains, branched chains, and cyclic structures . It seems likely that the bonding versatility of carbon, with itself and with other elements...
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Chapter1_BCH461 - BCH 461 Chapter 1 Foundations of...

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