Overview: Carbon: Backbone of Life

Chapter 4: Carbon and Molecular Diversity of Life  Although cells are 70-95% water, the rest consists of carbon-based compound  Carbon is unique in its ability to form large, complex, & diverse molecule  Proteins, DNA, lipids, carbohydrates, and other molecules that make them living are all composed of carbon compounds  4.1: Organic chemistry is the study of carbon compounds  4.2: Carbon atoms can form diverse molecules by bonding to four other atoms  4.3: A few chemical group are key to the functioning of the biological molecules

Key Concepts

 Organic Chemistry- study of compounds that contain carbon: from 1 C to 1000s C C 4.1: Organic chemistry is  Most organic compounds have hydrogen atoms along with carbon atoms the study if carbon compound C 4.2: Carbon atoms can form diverse molecules by bonding to 4 other atoms Formation of Bonds with Carbon  Key to atom’s characteristics are because of its 4 valence electrons  Electron configuration determine kind and number of bonds an atom can form with other atoms  Forms long chains of its own atoms, property called catenation  With 4 valance electrons, carbon can form 4 covalent bonds with a variety of atoms, making large complex molecules  With multiple carbons, each carbon bonds form with 4 other atoms, to make a tetrahedral shape  however, with a double bond, makes a flat shape  Electron configuration gives it covalent compatibility with many different elements  Carbon can partner with atoms other than hydrogen - Ex: CO2, - Urea: CO(NH2)2 Molecular Diversity arising  Carbon chains form skeleton of most organic molecules  Chains vary in length and size from carbon skeleton variation Hydrocarbons  Hydrocarbons- organic molecules that consists of only carbon and hydrogen. Organic molecules like fats have hydrocarbon components  Hydrocarbons can react to release a bunch of energy  Isomers- compounds with same molecular formula but different structures and properties: - Structural isomers have different covalent arrangements of their atoms


- Geometric isomers have same covalent arrangement but differ in spatial arrangements

- Enantiomers are isomers that are mirror image of each others

 Enantiomers are important in pharmaceutical industry as they may have different effects (usually one isomer is biologically active)  Different effects of enantiomers show that organisms are sensitive to subtle changes in molecules

C 4.3: A few chemical groups are key to the functioning of biological molecules The chemical groups most important in the process of life

 Properties of organic molecules depend on the carbon skeleton and molecular components attached to it  A number of characteristics groups can replace the hydrogen attached to skeletons of organic molecules  Functional groups are the component of organic molecules that are most commonly involved in chemical reactions  Number and arrangement of functional groups give each molecule its unique properties

 The 7 functional groups most important in the chemistry of life: - Hydroxyl group - Carbonyl group - Carboxyl group - Amino group - Sulfhydryl group - Phosphate group - Methyl group

ATP: an important source of energy for cellular process

 One phosphate molecule, adenosine triphosphate (ATP),is the primary energy transferring molecule in the cell  ATP consists of organic molecule called adenosine attached to a string of three phosphate groups


 ADP is the end-product when ATP reacts with water (hydolysis); loses one of is phosphate
groups and releases energy in reaction (stores energy in their high-energy phosphate bonds)

You should now be able to

1) Understand how carbon’s electron configuration explain its ability to make large, complex, and diverse organic molecules 2) Describe how carbon skeleton mar vary and contribute to diversity and complexity of organic molecules 3) Distinguish among three types of isomers: structural, geometric, and enantiomer 4) Name the 7 major functional groups; describe basic structure of each functional group and outline chemical propertied of the organic molecule they belong to 5) Explain how ATP functions as the primary energy transfer molecule in living cells

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