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BIOL 301 Study Guide - Spring 2019, Comprehensive Midterm Notes - Hydrogen Bond, Covalent Bond, Phosphate


Department
Biology
Course Code
BIOL 301
Professor
Eladio Abreu
Study Guide
Midterm

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BIOL 301

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Biochemistry Lecture 1
All living organisms have the following characteristics, which are supported by
biochemical processes:
o Reproduction
o Response to environmental stimuli
o Conversion of energy (intake of nutrients and release of waste)
o Homeostasis
o Growth and development
o Adaptation at the population level
Evolution
o Order and organization
Cells are the smallest unit of life
Cellular hierarchy:
o Monomers are assembled into macromolecules, which are assembled to form
supramolecular complexes
Examples:
Nucleotides DNA chromatin
Amino acids protein plasma membrane
Sugars cellulose cell wall
Biochemical systems require a great deal of regulation
o This includes cellular compartmentalization and regulation by signaling
molecules and macromolecules
Be familiar with these basic components:
o Amino acids
There are 20 amino acids, the monomers that constitute proteins
o Nucleic acids
Consist of:
Nitrogenous base
o Uracil, thymine, cytosine, adenine, guanine
Five-carbon sugar
o Ribose or deoxyribose
Phosphate
Structural hierarchy
Building blocks: nucleic acids
Macromolecules: e.g. DNA and tRNA
Supramolecular structures: e.g. chromosomes, ribosomes
o Lipids
Don’t have a common monomer but are united by the fact that they are
hydrophobic
The C-H bonds are good for storing energy
This is a nonpolar covalent bond, and because it is hard to break,
the energy is not very accessible
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Structural hierarchy
Building blocks: fatty acids
o Hydrocarbon chain plus carboxylic acid group
Macromolecule: phospholipids
o Two fatty acid tails, glycerol backbone, and phosphate
group
o Amphipathic- has a hydrophilic (polar) head and
hydrophobic (nonpolar) tail
Supramolecular structures: lipid bilayer/cell membrane
o Double layer composed of phospholipids
o Carbohydrates
E.g. glucose
Come in straight or ring forms
Important for structure (e.g. cell walls), identification, signaling (e.g.
glycoproteins), etc.
Structural hierarchy
Building blocks: monosaccharides
Macromolecule: polysaccharides
Supramolecular structures: plant/bacterial cell wall
Many essential biomolecules are composed of various building blocks
Compartmentalization is critical to the chemistry of life in cells
o Reactions take place in specialized compartments within the cell
These compartments provide unique environmental conditions that
support the reaction
E.g. a specific pH at which the reaction is favorable
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Chapter 1.1: The Cellular Foundations of Biochemistry
The distinguishing features of living organisms
Chemical complexity
Extraction, transformation, and use of energy from the environment
Defined functions for each of an organism’s components and regulated interactions
among them
Sensing and responding to environment
Self-replication and self-assembly
Evolution at the population level
Cells are the structural and functional units of all living organisms
Plasma membrane: a phospholipid bilayer
Cytoplasm: the cytosol + particulate components such as organelles, ribosomes, and
proteasomes
o Ribosomes: sites of protein synthesis
o Proteasomes: sites of protein degradation
o Cytosol: fluid containing enzymes, RNA, metabolites, coenzymes, and inorganic
ions
All cells have a plasma membrane, cytoplasm, and nucleus or nucleoid that contains
DNA
o Genome: complete set of genes
Genome is replicated and stored in nucleus or nucleoid
Nucleoid: DNA-containing structure found in bacteria and
archaea; has no membrane
o Bacteria and archaea are prokaryotes: microorganisms
without nuclear membranes
Nucleus: DNA-containing structure in eukaryotes; contained
within double membrane, the nuclear envelope
Cellular Dimensions are Limited by Diffusion
Lower limit of cell volume is set by minimum number of each type of biomolecule
required by the cell
Upper limit is set by the rate of diffusion of solute molecules in aqueous systems
o Larger surface area to volume ratio facilitates diffusion
Organisms Belong to Three Distinct Domains of Life
Bacteria and Archaea: domains of single-celled microorganisms
o Bacteria inhabit soils, surface waters, and living tissues
o Archaea inhabit extreme environments
o They diverged early in evolution
o Within both of these domains, some organisms live in aerobic environments
(have oxygen), and others live in anaerobic environments (lack oxygen)
Obligate anaerobes: organisms that die in presence of oxygen
Facultative anaerobes: organisms that can live with or without oxygen
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