Four Types of Biological Molecules

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What are the four types of biological molecules?

Carbohydrates, Lipids, Proteins, and Nucleic Acids

What are carbohydrates main function?

Stores chemical energy and durable building materials for biological construction.

What is the simple sugar structure?

Chain of carbon atoms, each having a hydroxyl (-OH) group. Carbonyl group determines if ketose (ketone) or aldose (aldehyde).

Sugars with 5 or more carbons...

undergo a self-reaction that converts them into a closed, or ring containing molecule.

How do sugars join one another?

Covalent glycosidic bonds are formed by the reaction of a carbon atom of one sugar with the hydroxyl group of another sugar.

Polysaccharide

A polymer of sugar units joined by glycosidic bonds.

Glycogen

Highly branched glucose polymer that serves as readily available chemical energy in most animal cells.

Oligosaccharides

Small chains composed of sugars covalently attached to lipids and proteins; they distinguish one type of cell from another and help mediate interactions of a cell with its surroundings

Three polysaccharides with identical sugar monomers but dramatically different properties.

Glycogen (branched), Starch (helical), and Cellulose (unbranched).

Starch

Mixture of two glucose polymers, amylose and amylopectin, that serves as readily available chemical energy in most plant cells.

Cellulose

Unbranched glucose polymer with Beta(1-->4) linkages that assembles into cables and serves as a principal structural element of plant cell walls.

What are the three types of lipids?

Fats, Steroids, and Phospholipids.

Fats

Molecules consisting of a glycerol backbone linked by ester bonds to three fatty acids, also termed triacylglycerols

Triacylglycerols

Polymers consisting of a glycerol backbone linked by ester bonds to three fatty acids, commonly called fats.

Fatty acid

Long, unbranched hydrocarbon chain with a single carboxylic acid group at one end.

Amphipathic

The biologically important property of a molecule having both hydrophobic and hydrophilic regions

Saturated fatty acids

Those lacking double bonds between carbons.

Unsaturated fatty acids

Those having one or more double bonds between carbon atoms.

Oils

Fats that are liquid at room temperature.

Specificity

The property of selective interaction between components of a cell that is basic to life.

Polypeptide chain

A long, continous unbranched polymer formed by amino acids joined to one another by covalent peptide bonds.

Peptide bonds

The chemical bond linking amino acids in a protein, which forms when the carboxyl group of one amino acid reacts with the amino group of a second amino acid.

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