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2nd_lecture[1] - MCB 102 Professor Fyodor Urnov Lecture 2...

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MCB 102 Professor Fyodor Urnov 06/22/10 Lecture 2 ASUC Lecture Notes Online is the only authorized note-taking service at UC Berkeley. Do not share, copy, or illegally distribute (electronically or otherwise) these notes. Our student-run program depends on your individual subscription for its continued existence. These notes are copyrighted by the University of California and are for your personal use only. D O N O T C O P Y Sharing or copying these notes is illegal and could end note taking for this course. ANNOUNCEMENTS I had a few students ask so I wanted to let you know that the exams will be open book. But I would also like to remind you that open book exams, I feel, are generally harder because they focus on the concepts rather than regurgitation. You also may notice that I am going fairly slowly right now, but there is a reason for that. If you want the details about the subjects we go over, you can read your text books and or the data that I post up. What I want you to get from this lecture are the conceptual ideas that underlie biochemistry and serve the basis for every other aspect. LECTURE In class yesterday, I mentioned that living systems have signal transduction pathways with agonists and antagonists. However, I may have made a mistake when it came to defining specific agonists and antagonists. The strict formal definition is that agonists / antagonists affect the receptors, not the hormones. In other words, isoproterenol would be an agonist of the epinephrine receptor while propranolol is an antagonist of the epinephrine receptor. Therefore, the homework I assigned yesterday should read: If you were interested in developing an anti-obesity drug, would you work on building an agonist or antagonist for the ghrelin receptor? Would you build an agonist or antagonist for the leptin receptor? Also, I showed two examples yesterday of antagonists: tamoxifen and mifepristone. I said that mifepristone is an antagonist of the progesterone receptor which causes induced abortions. However, mifepristone is actually an agonist and does not interrupt an established pregnancy. It solely prevents contraception by immobilizing sperm, and therefore its effect is not considered to be an abortion. Proteins and Proteases One of Mother Nature’s most impressive feats is its ability to make and break molecular bonds using enzymes. Peptide bonds, for one, are much stronger than you might expect. Considering they are only a few electrons holding together various nuclei, it’s impressive to consider that many of them haven’t been broken for millions of years. Proteases like chymotrypsin are the body’s way of compensating for these surprisingly strong bonds by placing the proteins in environments where they will separate.
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