The Chemistry of Organic Molecules

THE CHEMISTRY OF ORGANIC MOLECULES I. MACROMOLECULES-large molecules that are composed of smaller molecules and atoms that are bonded together. These are among the largest of all chemical molecules. A. Polymers-the largest of the macromolecules. These are composed of numerous, small identical subunits known as Monomers. There are 4 major polymers that are important for living organisms. These polymers are; carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and nucleic acids. B. Polymers are referred to as being organic compounds. Organic compounds are compounds that contain the elements carbon and hydrogen. 1.

Chemical Properties of Carbon a. Carbon has 6 electrons. What is the structure of a carbon atom? b. Carbon can form 4 single covalent bonds with other atoms. It also has the ability to form double bonds with some atoms. Overall, the 4 bonds that carbon forms with other atoms makes the carbon stable. This stability is what makes carbon an important component of macromolecules. C. Functional Groups-groups of covalently bonded atoms that have definite chemical properties. 1. These always react in the same way, regardless of what molecule they are a part of. 2. Some polymers have several functional groups. . The exact arrangement of a functional group in a molecule greatly influences and determines the chemical properties of the particular molecule. 4. Important Functional Groups: a. Hydroxyl b. Carbonyl c. Carboxyl d. Amino e. Sulfhydryl f. Phosphate D. The Formation and Destruction of Polymers 1. Dehydration (Condensation) Reactions-reactions in which monomers bond together to produce polymers. a. Water is lost from the monomers in these reactions. 2. Hydrolysis Reactions-reactions in which polymers are broken down into monomers. a. These reactions require an input of water to occur.

II. 4 MAJOR POLYMERS IN LIVING ORGANISMS A. Carbohydrates B. Lipids C. Proteins D. Nucleic Acids III. CARBOHYDRATES-includes sugars and related compounds. A. Carbohydrates are composed of three major elements: B. Carbohydrates tend to be very strong compounds due to the presence of carbon-hydrogen covalent bonds. C. Carbohydrates serve as a major source of energy for living cells. Some carbohydrates also serve as structural compounds in living cells. D. 3 Classes of Carbohydrates 1. Monosaccharides-simple sugars a. These serve as monomers for many of the larger carbohydrates. b.

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Glycogen-the storage form of glucose in animal cells. Many animals can convert glycogen into glucose under times of need or stress. This glucose can then be used as an energy source. Glycogen is stored in the liver and in some muscle fibers. 4. Chitin-a structural polysaccharide found in fungi and insects. This is also a thick, protective compound. IV. LIPIDS-includes fats, oils and waxes. A. All lipids are insoluble in water. 1. What does this mean? B. Functions of Lipids in Living Organisms: C. Structure of a Typical Lipid 1. Lipids are composed of 2 major components: . Glycerol-a 3 carbon alcohol. 1) Hydroxyl groups bond to each of the carbon atoms in glycerol. 2) Glycerol serves as the major backbone unit for most lipids. b. Fatty Acids 1) Three fatty acid molecules attach to glycerol to form a lipid. Each fatty acid replaces the hydrogen atom on the hydroxyl groups of the glycerol molecule. Due to this, there is one fatty acid bonded to each carbon atom of the glycerol molecule. a) Due to this arrangement, lipids are often referred to as triglycerides. 2) Saturated fats-occur when the fatty acid groups contain single covalent onds between their carbon atoms. There are no carbon to carbon double bonds in these. a) In other words, the carbon atoms are saturated with as many hydrogen atoms as possible. b) These are known as animal fats are solids at room temperature. c) Are these bad for us? 3) Unsaturated fats-occur when fatty acids contain double bonds between their carbon atoms. These are often referred to as vegetable oils. a) Polyunsaturated fats- b) These types of fats are liquids at room temperature. D. Types of Lipids 1. Phospholipids-contain only 2 fatty acid tails. These are found in cell membranes.

They have hydrophilic heads and hydrophobic tails. 2. Waxes-serve as protective coverings over surfaces. 3. Hormones-chemicals that regulate the growth and functioning of living organisms. 4. Steroids-there are several different types of steroids: a. Cholesterol-common steroid. 1) Humans do need a small amount of cholesterol for: a) The formation of Vitamin D b) The production of estrogen and testosterone 2) Cholesterol is carried through the human body by 2 proteins that are found in the human bloodstream: a) Low-density Lipoprotein (LDL)-this protein is responsible for elivering cholesterol to body cells and tissues where it is needed. This is often referred to as the “bad cholesterol. ” b) High Density Lipoprotein (HDL)-this protein removes cholesterol from cells and tissues and transports it to the liver where it is secreted into bile. This is usually known as “good cholesterol. ” 1) Bile-compound that is secreted by the liver that aids in digestion. Bile is also a waste product that is excreted from the body. It contains fatty wastes and it is excreted via feces. 3) Cholesterol in the human diet comes only from animal products. ) Normal Cholesterol Readings in young individuals should be around 180mg/dl. This rises to 230-250 mg/dl as humans age. 5) An important issue relating to cholesterol is the LDL/HDL Ratio. a) A high HDL values ensures that cholesterol is removed from body tissues in an adequate fashion. b) A low HDL values indicates that cholesterol removal is not occurring as it should. c) If cholesterol is not removed from the body, it can form plaques or deposits in the arteries of the body. This is a major cause of heart disease and heart attack. 6) How can an individual increase their HDL levels? b.

Anabolic Steroids 1) These steroids are thought to increase muscle mass. 2) Side Effects of Steroid Use Include: c. Not all steroids are bad. Some are used to treat allergies and other human illnesses. These steroids do not cause the side-effects mentioned above. V. PROTEINS A. Functions of Proteins in Living Organisms 1. Make up cell membranes 2. Make up enzymes- 3. In collagen-protein that provides strength and support to structures in the body. 4. In keratin-a thick, protective protein. 5. Transport-some protein carry various materials through the body. An example would be hemoglobin. 6.

Defense-proteins are in antibodies. 7. Proteins make up the contractile portion of human muscle. The major contractile proteins are actin and myosin. B. Proteins are found in and are essential for both plants and animals. C. Protein Structure 1. Proteins are composed of many amino acids that are bonded together. 2. Peptide Bonds- 3. Chains of bonded amino acids are often referred to as polypeptides. 4. What attaches amino acids together? 5. Amino Acids-there are 20 naturally occurring amino acids. They can bond in a variety of sequences to produce proteins. a. General Structure of an Amino Acid: . Some common amino acids include: phenylalanine, tryptophan, asparagine 6. Proteins can occur as simple chains or they can exhibit complex structures. 7. Denaturation- a. What can cause denaturation to occur? VI. NUCLEIC ACIDS A. These are composed of nucleotides that are covalently bonded together. What forms these bonds? B. Individual Nucleotides Contain: 1. A 5 Carbon Sugar 2. A Phosphate group 3. A Nitrogen-containing base C. Types of Nucleic Acids: 1. Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA)- 2. Ribonucleic Acid (RNA)- 3. Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP)- 4. Coenzymes- VII. MACROMOLECULES AND THEIR MONOMERS

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