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Macromolecules. Large Molecules Macromolecules are formed when monomers are linked together to form longer chains called polymers . The same process of making and breaking polymers is found in all living organisms. Condensation Reaction.

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Macromolecules l.jpg

  • Large Molecules

  • Macromolecules are formed when monomers are linked together to form longer chains called polymers.

  • The same process of making and breaking polymers is found in all living organisms.

Condensation reaction l.jpg
Condensation Reaction

  • Consider some generic monomers with OH groups on their ends.

  • These monomers can be linked together by a process called dehydration synthesis (also called a condensation reaction) in which a covalent bond is formed between the two monomers while a water molecule is also formed from the OH groups.

  • This reaction is catalyzed by a polymerase enzyme.

  • This same type of condensation reaction can occur to form many kinds of polymers, from proteins to carbohydrates, nucleic acids to triglycerides.

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Hydrolysis Reactions

  • Polymers of all sorts can be broken apart by hydrolysis reactions. In hydrolysis the addition of a water molecule (with the help of a hydrolase enzyme) breaks the covalent bond holding the monomers together.

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Four major types of Macromolecules

  • Lipids

  • Carbohydrates

  • Nucleic Acids

  • Proteins

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Four major types of Macromolecules

Diverse groups of molecules in nonpolymorphic form

  • Lipids

  • Carbohydrates

  • Nucleic Acids

  • Proteins



Amino Acids

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  • Proteinsconsist of one or more polymerscalled polypeptides, which are made by linking amino acids together with peptide linkages.

  • Peptide linkages are formed through condensation reactions.

  • All proteins are made from the same 20 amino acids.

  • Different amino acids have different chemical properties.

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  • Protein’s primary structure largely determines its secondary, tertiary (and quaternary) structure.

  • Proteins subjected to extreme conditions (large changes in pH, high temperatures, etc.) often denature.

  • Proteins act as enzymes, and catalyze very specific chemical reactions.

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  • Carbohydratesare always composed of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen molecules

  • Monosaccharides typically have five or six carbon atoms.

  • Monosaccharides can, such as the ribose and deoxyribose of RNA and DNA, can serve very important functions in cells.

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  • Condensation reactions form covalent bonds between monosaccharides, called glycosidic linkages.

  • Monosaccharides are the monomers for the larger polysaccharides.

  • Polysaccharides play various roles, from energy storage (starch, glycogen) to structure (cellulose).

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Nucleic Acid

  • Two types of nucleic acids:

    • DNA

    • RNA

  • DNA stores the genetic information of organisms; RNA is used to transfer that information into the amino acid sequences of proteins.

  • DNA and RNA are polymers composed of subunits called nucleotides.

  • Nucleotides consist of a five-carbon sugar, a phosphate group and a nitrogenous base.

  • Five nitrogenous bases found in nucleotides:

    • the purines

      • adenine (A)

      • guanine (G)

    • the pyrimidines

      • cytosine (C)

      • thymine (T) (DNA only)

      • uracil (U) (RNA only)

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Nucleic Acid

  • DNA is transmitted from generation to generation with high fidelity, and therefore represents a partial picture of the history of life.

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  • Lipids constitute a very diverse group of molecules that all share the property of being hydrophobic.

  • Fatsand oilsare lipids generally associated with energy storage.

  • Fatty acids, which make up fats and oils, can be saturated or unsaturated, depending on the absence or presence of double bonded carbon atoms.

  • Other types of lipids are used for a other purposes, including pigmentation (chlorophyll, carotenoids), repelling water (cutin, suberin, waxes) and signaling (cholesterol and its derivatives).

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  • Lipids are joined together by ester linkages.

  • Triglyceride is composed of 3 fatty acid and 1 glycerol molecule

  • Fatty acids attach to Glycerol by covalent ester bond

  • Long hydrocarbon chain of each fatty acid makes the triglyceride molecule nonpolar and hydrophobic