Sei sulla pagina 1di 80

Molecules of Life

Chapter 3
Impacts, Issues:
Fear of Frying

Trans fats in hydrogenated vegetable oil raise

levels of cholesterol in our blood more than any
other fat, and directly alter blood vessel function
Organic Molecules

All molecules of life are built with carbon atoms

We can use different models to highlight

different aspects of the same molecule
Carbons Bonding Behavior
Outer shell of carbon
has 4 electrons; can
hold 8

Each carbon atom can

form covalent bonds
with up to four atoms
Bonding Arrangements

Carbon atoms can

form chains or rings

Other atoms project

from the carbon
Organic Compounds


Simplified structural formula

icon for a six-carbon ring
for a six-carbon ring

Organic Compounds

Fig. 3-2, p.35

3.1 Carbon The Stuff of Life

Organic molecules are complex molecules of

life, built on a framework of carbon atoms
Nucleic acids
Carbon The Stuff of Life

Carbon atoms can be assembled and

remodeled into many organic compounds
Can bond with one, two, three, or four atoms
Can form polar or nonpolar bonds
Can form chains or rings
Representing Structures
of Organic Molecules

Structural model of an organic molecule

Each line is a covalent bond; two lines are double
bonds; three lines are triple bonds
Representing Structures
of Organic Molecules

Carbon ring structures are represented as

polygons; carbon atoms are implied
Representing Structures
of Organic Molecules

Ball-and-stick models show positions of atoms in

three dimensions; elements are coded by color
Representing Structures
of Organic Molecules

Space-filling models show how atoms sharing

electrons overlap
3.2 From Structure to Function

The function of organic molecules in biological

systems begins with their structure

The building blocks of carbohydrates, lipids,

proteins, and nucleic acids bond together in
different arrangements to form different kinds of
complex molecules
Functional Groups

An organic molecule that consists only of
hydrogen and carbon atoms

Most biological molecules have at least one

functional group
A cluster of atoms that imparts specific chemical
properties to a molecule (polarity, acidity)
Examples of Functional Groups

Hydroxyl group - OH
Amino group - NH3+
Carboxyl group - COOH
Phosphate group - PO3-
Sulfhydryl group - SH
Functional Groups in Hormones
Estrogen and testosterone are hormones responsible for observable differences in
traits between male and female wood ducks
Differences in position of functional groups attached to ring structure (pg 36)

An Estrogen Testosterone
Fig. 3-5b, p.36
What Cells Do to Organic Compounds

Activities by which cells acquire and use energy
to construct, rearrange, and split organic
Allows cells to live, grow, and reproduce
Requires enzymes (proteins that increase the
speed of reactions)
Types of Reactions
Functional group transfer

Electron transfer



What Cells Do to Organic Compounds

Covalent bonding of two molecules to form a
larger molecule
Water forms as a product
Condensation Reactions

Form polymers from subunits

Enzymes remove -OH from one molecule, H

from another, form bond between two molecules
Discarded atoms can join to form water
The reverse of condensation
Cleavage reactions split larger molecules into
smaller ones
Water is split

A type of cleavage reaction

Breaks polymers into smaller units
Enzymes split molecules into two or more parts
An -OH group and an H atom derived from water
are attached at exposed sites
What Cells Do to Organic Compounds

Molecules used as subunits to build larger
molecules (polymers)
Larger molecules that are chains of monomers
May be split and used for energy
3.1-3.2 Key Concepts:
Structure Dictates Function

We define cells partly by their capacity to build

complex carbohydrates and lipids, proteins, and
nucleic acids

All of these organic compounds have functional

groups attached to a backbone of carbon atoms
3.3 Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the most plentiful biological

molecules in the biosphere

Cells use some carbohydrates as structural materials;

others for stored or instant energy

Organic molecules that consist of carbon,
hydrogen, and oxygen in a 1:2:1 ratio

Three types of carbohydrates in living systems

Simple Sugars

Monosaccharides (one sugar unit) are the

simplest carbohydrates
Used as an energy source or structural material
Backbones of 5 or 6 carbons
Example: glucose
Two Monosaccharides

glucose fructose
Fig. 3-7, p.38
Two monosaccharides bound together by
condensation reactions form a disaccharide.
Short-Chain Carbohydrates

Short chains of monosaccharides
Example: sucrose, a disaccharide
Complex Carbohydrates

Straight or branched chains of many sugar
The most common polysaccharides are
cellulose, starch, chitin and glycogen
All consist of glucose monomers
Each has a different pattern of covalent bonding,
and different chemical properties

A nitrogen-containing polysaccharide that
strengthens hard parts of animals such as crabs,
and cell walls of fungi
3.3 Key Concepts:

Carbohydrates are the most abundant biological


They function as energy reservoirs and

structural materials

Different types of complex carbohydrates are

built from the same subunits of simple sugars,
bonded in different patterns
3.4 Greasy, Oily Must Be Lipids

Lipids function as the bodys major energy

reservoir, and as the structural foundation of cell

Fatty, oily, or waxy organic compounds that are
insoluble in water

Fatty acid(s)
attached to
Triglycerides are
most common

Fig. 3-12, p.40

Fatty Acids

Many lipids incorporate fatty acids

Simple organic compounds with a carboxyl group
joined to a backbone of 4 to 36 carbon atoms

Essential fatty acids are not made by the body

and must come from food
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
Three Fatty Acids

Fig. 3-11, p.40

Fatty Acids

Saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated


Lipids with one, two, or three fatty acids tails
attached to glycerol

Neutral fats with three fatty acids attached to
The most abundant energy source in vertebrates
Concentrated in adipose tissues (for insulation
and cushioning)
Fig. 3-12a, p.40
Saturated and Unsaturated Fats

Saturated fats (animal fats)

Fatty acids with only single covalent bonds
Pack tightly; solid at room temperature

Unsaturated fats (vegetable oils)

Fatty acids with one or more double bonds
Kinked; liquid at room temperature
Trans Fats

Trans fats
Partially hydrogenated vegetable oils formed by a
chemical hydrogenation process
Double bond straightens the molecule
Pack tightly; solid at room temperature

Molecules with a polar head containing a
phosphate and two nonpolar fatty acid tails
Heads are hydrophilic, tails are hydrophobic
The most abundant lipid in cell membranes

Main components of cell


Complex mixtures with long fatty-acid tails
bonded to long-chain alcohols or carbon rings
Protective, water-repellant covering

Bees construct honeycombs from their own

waxy secretions

Fig. 3-14, p.41

Cholesterol and Other Steroids

Lipids with a rigid backbone of four carbon rings
and no fatty-acid tails

Component of eukaryotic cell membranes
Remodeled into bile salts, vitamin D, and steroid
hormones (estrogens and testosterone)
3.4 Key Concepts:

Lipids function as energy reservoirs and

waterproofing or lubricating substances

Some are remodeled into other substances

Lipids are the main structural components of cell

3.5 Proteins Diversity
in Structure and Function

Proteins are the most diverse biological

molecule (structural, nutritious, enzyme,
transport, communication, and defense proteins)
Cells build thousands of different proteins by
stringing together amino acids in different orders
Proteins and Amino Acids

An organic compound composed of one or more
chains of amino acids

Amino acid
A small organic compound with an amine group
(NH3+), a carboxyl group (COO-, the acid),
and one or more variable groups (R group)
Amino Acid Structure



R group
Properties of Amino Acids

Determined by the R group

Amino acids may be:
Uncharged, polar
Positively charged, polar
Negatively charged, polar

Protein synthesis involves the formation of

amino acid chains called polypeptides

A chain of amino acids bonded together by
peptide bonds in a condensation reaction
between the amine group of one amino acid and
the carboxyl group of another amino acid
Levels of Protein Structure

Primary structure
The unique amino acid sequence of a protein
Secondary structure
The polypeptide chain folds and forms hydrogen
bonds between amino acids
Levels of Protein Structure

Tertiary structure
A secondary structure is compacted into
structurally stable units called domains
Forms a functional protein
Quaternary structure
Some proteins consist of two or more folded
polypeptide chains in close association
Example: hemoglobin
Proteins that are combined with lipids are called

Proteins that are combined with

oligosaccharides are called glycoproteins
3.6 Why Is Protein Structure
So Important?

When a proteins structure goes awry, so does

its function
Just One Wrong Amino Acid

Hemoglobin contains four globin chains, each

with an iron-containing heme group that binds
oxygen and carries it to body cells

In sickle cell anemia, a DNA mutation changes a

single amino acid in a beta chain, which
changes the shape of the hemoglobin molecule,
causing it to clump and deform red blood cells
a Normal amino acid sequence at the start of a beta change
for hemoglobin


Fig. 3-18a, p.45

b One amino acid substitution results in the abnormal beta chain
in HbS molecules. During protein synthesis, valine was added
instead of glutamate at the sixth position of the growing
polypeptide chain.


Fig. 3-18b, p.45

c Glutamate has an overall
negative charge; valine has no
net charge. The difference
gives rise to a water-repellant, sickle cell
sticky patch on HbS molcules.
They stick together because of
that patch, forming rod-shaped
clumps that distort normally
rounded red blood cells into
sickle shapes. (A sickle is a
farm tool that has a crescent-
normal cell
shaped blade.)

Fig. 3-18c, p.45

Proteins Undone Denaturation

Proteins function only as long as they maintain

their correct three-dimensional shape

Heat, changes in pH, salts, and detergents can

disrupt the hydrogen bonds that maintain a
proteins shape

When a protein loses its shape and no longer

functions, it is denatured
3.5-3.6 Key Concepts:

Structurally and functionally, proteins are the

most diverse molecules of life

They include enzymes, structural materials, and


A proteins function arises directly from its

3.7 Nucleic Acids

Some nucleotides are subunits of nucleic acids

such as DNA and RNA

Some nucleotides have roles in metabolism

ATP - A Nucleotide

three phosphate groups

Nucleic Acids

Cytosine Adenine

Composed of nucleotides
Single- or double-stranded
Sugar-phosphate backbone

A small organic molecule consisting of a sugar
with a five-carbon ring, a nitrogen-containing
base, and one or more phosphate groups

A nucleotide with three phosphate groups
Important in phosphate-group (energy) transfer
Nucleic Acids

Nucleic acids
Polymers of nucleotides in which the sugar of one
nucleotide is attached to the phosphate group of
the next
RNA and DNA are nucleic acids

RNA (ribonucleic acid)

Contains four kinds of nucleotide monomers,
including ATP
Important in protein synthesis

DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid)

Two chains of nucleotides twisted together into a
double helix and held by hydrogen bonds
Contains all inherited information necessary to
build an organism, coded in the order of
nucleotide bases

Consists of four types
of nucleotides
A bound to T
C bound to G
3.7 Key Concepts:
Nucleotides and Nucleic Acids

Nucleotides have major metabolic roles and are

building blocks of nucleic acids

Two kinds of nucleic acids, DNA and RNA,

interact as the cells system of storing, retrieving,
and translating information about building