Sie sind auf Seite 1von 9


BIOLOGICAL MACROMOLECULE Nucleic Acids GENERAL STRUCTURE Nucleic acids are made of a sugar, a phosphate group and a nitrogenous base. The sugar determines whether it is DNA or RNA (which includes tRNA: transfer RNA, mRNA: messenger RNA and rRNA: Ribosomal RNA). DNA has deoxyribose while RNA has ribose. The phosphate group remains generally constant. The nitrogenous base determines which nucleic acid it is. The nucleobases are: adenine (A), thymine (T), cytosine (C) and guanine (G). Below is the structure of DNA, the genetic information in your body. FUNCTION tRNA: Serves as a carrier molecule for amino acids to be used in protein synthesis mRNA: Carries genetic sequence information between DNA and ribosomes, directing protein synthesis rRNA: Major component of the ribosome, catalyses peptide bond formation DNA: Contains genetic instructions used for the development and functioning of all known living organisms


The structure of a protein is described in four different levels of organisation. The first level is the primary structure; this is just the order of amino acids in the molecule. The secondary structure is the local 3D folding which is formed by hydrogen bonds. There are three main types of secondary structure, theres the alpha helix, the beta plated sheets and a random coil. One long polypeptide chain could have some alpha helix, some beta plated sheets and some random coil along the one chain. The tertiary structure is the total folding of the protein that is held together by hydrogen bonds or ionic bonds. Finally there is the quaternary structure. This is a structure containing two or more polypeptide chain. Below is a nice diagram of all the protein structures.

There are thousands of different proteins in every single cell of your body and they all have a special function. Here are some: Antibodies: Defends the body from antigens (foreign invaders) Contractile Proteins: Responsible for movement Enzymes: Act as catalysts to speed up chemical reactions without being used up in the reaction itself Hormones: Messenger proteins that help coordinate certain bodily activities Structural Proteins: Fibrous and stringy, they help give support Storage proteins: Store amino acids Transport proteins: Carrier proteins which move molecules from one place to another around the body


Carbohydrates are organic compounds made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Carbohydrates containing one sugar unit are called monosaccharides (like glucose, the energy source for plants and animals). Two sugar units are called disaccharides (like sucrose, thats table sugar). These two carbohydrates are called simple carbohydrates. Many sugar units joined together are called polysaccharides (like starch, the stuff in potatoes, or cellulose, the component in plant cell walls), also known as, complex carbohydrates. The picture here shows the structure of lactose, a disaccharide sugar found most notably in milk.

Carbohydrates form a major part of your diet and help in building body strength, by generating energy.


Lipids are the general term for fats oils and waxes. They consist of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen but contain relatively little water. This lack of water allows them to carry much more energy per molecule than any other compound found in either plants or animals. Fats have little or no attraction to water and are insoluble. This makes them hydrophobic molecules. A phospholipid has two fatty acids attached to a glycerol molecule

A lipid primary purpose is for longterm energy storage in comparison to carbohydrates, which are for short-term usage. A very small amount of energy, which is excellent if you dont happen to have a ready supply around. In adipose tissue, lipids can also serve as cushioning.




A water molecule has two hydrogen atoms joined onto one oxygen atom by bonds called covalent bonds. So the hydrogen atoms share electrons with the larger oxygen atom. Overall, the water molecule has a neutral charge. However, when looked at closely, the oxygen end of the molecule has a slight negative charge and the hydrogen ends are slightly positive, like a polarized magnet. Thus, water molecules are attracted to other water molecules. This attraction is called hydrogen bonding, it is not very strong but it is the reason why water stays together.

Water is a very common compound on Earth but also one with very uncommon properties. It exists naturally as a liquid, solid and gas. It is a good solvent due to its polarity and is essential to all living creatures. Water is also called dihydrogen monoxide (two hydrogens, one oxygen) that is a very cool long name and makes you sound like a genius just by saying it. It is white solid or almost colourless and transparent, with a slight hint of blue. It boils at 100 C (actually, Wikipedia says 99.98C) and freezes at 0C. Pure water will also have a neutral pH of 7.

PROVIDE DEFINITIONS FOR KEY WORDS: ORGANIC: Organic describes forms, methods and patterns found in living systems such as the organisation of cells, to populations, communities, and ecosystems INCORGANIC: Part of or derived from non-biological material MONOMERS: A single unit from which a polymer is built POLYMERS: Naturally occurring or synthetic compound consisting of large molecules made up of a linked series of repeated simply monomers HYDROPHILIC: Having a strong affinity for water, tending to dissolve in, mix with, or be wetted by water HYDROPHOBIC: Lacking affinity for water, tending to repel and not absorb water, not mixing, or be wetted by water. It could also describe a person who has an abnormal fear of water.







The movement of water molecules through a selectively permeable membrane down a water potential gradient. Basically, water moving from an area of high water potential to an area of low, crossing a membrane as it moves.


Osmosis releases energy, and can be made to do work. The energy is from the cells own kinesis.


This is the spread of particles through random motion of higher concentration to regions of lower concentration.


From the cells own energy.

Active Transport

The movement of a substance against its concentration gradient (so, from low to high concentration). Specialized proteins recognize the substance and allow it to access, or exit, the cell via the membrane.


This process uses chemical energy, such as from adenosie triphosphate (ATP).

Carrier Proteins

These are proteins involved in the movement of ions, small molecules, or macromolecules, such as another protein, across a biological membrane. The proteins can assist in the movement of substance by facilitated diffusion or active transport.


Uses the kinetic energy of cells or, if helping with active transport, it uses chemical energy. Cells own kinetic energy. Protein channels are just holes basically, they only allow some molecules that can fit in. The cells own energy. It s only used when the substance need cannot pass through the hydrophobic plasma or the cell membrane. The cells own energy, used when the substance cannot pass

Protein Channels

A watery pathway through the interstices of a protein molecule by which ions and small molecules can cross a membrane into or out of the cell by diffusion or active transport.



This is the process in which cells absorb molecules (such as proteins) by engulfing them. The amoeba eats like that.



This is the process in which cells rids itself of unwanted molecules by directing the contents out of the cell membrane. I guess the


amoeba vomits like that.

through the hydrophobic plasma or the cell membrane. Active Cells cellular energy


The cellular process of engulfing solid particles by the cell membrane. Imagine small arms reaching out from the cell membrane and engulfing something.


A form of exocytosis in which small particles are bought into the cell suspended within small vesicles that subsequently fuse with lysosomes to hydrolyse, or to break down, the particles. It is like pinching the substance through the membrane.


The cells cellular energy.

Facilitated Diffusion

Also known as facilitated transport or passive-mediated transport. Polar molecules and charged ions are dissolved in water but they cannot diffuse freely across the membrane due to the hydrophobic nature of fatty acid tails of the phospholipid bilayer. So the carrier proteins have to open and allow them access into the cell.


The cells own kinetic energy and the permeability of its membrane

HYPERTONIC SOLUTIONS: A solution with a higher salt concentration than in normal cells of the body and the blood

HYPOTONIC SOLUTIONS: A solution with a lower salt concentration than in normal cells of the body and the blood

ISOTONIC SOLUTIONS: A solution with the same salt concentration than in normal cells of the body and the blood