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Introduction to Introduction to

Biochemistry Biochemistry
Associate Prof. Dr. Chong Pei Pei
What is Biochemistry? What is Biochemistry?
Biochemistry is the study of the molecular and
chemical basis of life. thousands of reactions in a
cell, how they are controlled.
To investigate chemical compounds and chemical
reactions which are important to the functioning of
biological systems. biological systems.
To examine the major metabolic pathways for
energy production and biosynthesis.
Carbohydrates Carbohydrates
Amino acids Amino acids
Proteins Proteins
Lipids Lipids
Types of Organic Chemicals or Types of Organic Chemicals or
Compounds found in living systems Compounds found in living systems
Lipids Lipids
Nucleic Acids Nucleic Acids
enzymes enzymes
Vitamin Vitamin
Hormones Hormones
.. ..
It was generally believed that the
molecules from living things had
something special ---- a mysterious
Biochemistry was once thought to
be a complete mystery.
something special ---- a mysterious
vital force.
Friedrich Whler (1800-1882) Synthesized
Urea from two inorganic salts, thus initiating a
revitalized effort to synthesize other
biomolecules and the ultimate demise of the
vital force theory.
History of Biochemistry History of Biochemistry
In the 30's Linus Pauling described the chemical
bond .
In the 40's he predicted and then demonstrated
the triple helix nature of a protein known as the triple helix nature of a protein known as
collagen.
In the 50's there was the much publicized
race between Pauling and the team of Watson
and Crick to determine the alpha-helical nature
of DNA and its obvious role in inheritance.
We know that the flow of genetic
information is from genes to proteins and
the structure of proteins can now be
predicted with great accuracy and
modeled on a simple personal computer. modeled on a simple personal computer.
Biology and Molecular Genetics, biotechnology,
toxicology, and much of medicinal chemistry and
pathology build on biochemistry and use its
terminology and concepts.
Why Learn Biochemistry?
terminology and concepts.
In clinical teams, pharmacists will be the principal
expert on biochemistry and all matters at the
biochemical level.
What are the elements and organic
chemicals ???
Element Percent Element Percent
Carbon 50 Phosphor
us
2.5
Oxygen 20 Potassiu 1
Approximate elementary composition of the human body
m
Hydroge
n
10 Sulfur 0.8
Nitrogen 8.5 Sodium 0.4
Calcium 4 Chlorine 0.4
Elementary composition of the Elementary composition of the
human Body human Body
Carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen are major
constituents of nucleic acids, carbohydrate , lipids
and proteins and proteins
Nucleic acids and proteins also contain nitrogen
C H O
O H H
H H O
O H H
O H H
C H
2
O H
D - G l u c o s e
HN=C(NH )-NH-(CH ) -CH(NH )-COOH Arginine HN=C(NH

)-NH-(CH

-CH(NH

)-COOH Arginine
Fatty acid
Chemical composition of the human Chemical composition of the human
body body
Water
Protein,
Fat,
Carbohydrate,
Minerals .
Kg Percent
Protein 11 17
Fat 9 13.8
Normal Chemical Composition for a man weighing 65 kg.
Carbohydrate 1 1.5
water 40 61.6
Minerals 4 6.1
Minerals are vital to the development of teeth and bones
(calcium, phosphorus, and fluoride) and to the functioning
of a number of the body's metabolic systems.
Iron is a necessary part of hemoglobin in the blood.
sodium and potassium are essential to maintenance of
fluid balance and functioning of the nervous system.
MINERAL FUNCTIONS
fluid balance and functioning of the nervous system.
Magnesium is needed for the normal functioning of
nerves and muscles.
Iodine is required for thyroid hormone .
Phosphate ions help to keep the BLOOD at the correct
pH, Phosphate is part of DNA.
Milk, cheese, and dark, leafy green vegetables
are excellent sources of calcium; liver, meat,
and egg yolks are good sources of iron.
Source of minerals
The importance of water can be appreciated from the
following:
About 70% by mass of the human body is water
Most biochemical reactions take place in water
WATER
Blood, the transport system in the body, is a solution
of
substances in water
The liquid inside and surrounding our cells is a watery
solution
Structure of Water, with 2 hydrogen atoms and 1
oxygen , has two regions of partial positivity and
partial negativity which results is electric dipole I.e.
polar.
The arrangement of electrons around the oxygen
atom potentially allows the binding of four adjacent
water molecules to any water molecule. water molecules to any water molecule.
Water is a polar (or charged ) molecule. Thus
water molecules can attract each other, Hydrogen
bonds form between water molecules.
This causes great stickiness between water
molecules. molecules.
Melting point, 0 C compared with 117 C for ethanol.
Water has special properties:
Unusually high melting and boiling points,
Unusually high (a) heat capacity and (b) heat of
vaporization
Boiling point, 100 C compared with 78 C for ethanol
Heat of vaporization I.e. the amount of heat energy required
to change 1 g of solvent from its liquid state into the gas
state. Water is 2260 Jg
-1
compared with 854 Jg
-1
for ethanol
.
These temperatures give a rough indication of how
hard it is to get the molecules of a substance out of a
solid and into the liquid (melting point), or out of the
liquid into the gas (boiling point).
Since these temperatures are high, water is hard to
What does the melting , boiling point
and density of a substance tell us?
Since these temperatures are high, water is hard to
shift
from a solid to a liquid and from a liquid to a gas.
Water molecules must be strongly attracted to each
other.
Low density of water in ice form compared with liquid
form.
Thus the evaporation of water from the body
surface is a remarkably efficient cooling system.
A large amount of heat can be carried away by a
relatively small amount of water (sweat) being
vaporized.
Evaporation
vaporized.
All of these properties of water are
understandable because of the strong attraction
between water molecules which is called hydrogen
bonding.
Support structures in plants (e.g. Support structures in plants (e.g.
cellulose, a polymer of glucose) cellulose, a polymer of glucose)
Carbohydrate Function
Store energy in living cells (e.g. glucose)
Plants (Starch), Animals (Glycogen)
Carbohydrates Functions Carbohydrates Functions
Store energy in living cells (e.g. glucose, glycogen)
Plants (Starch), Animals (Glycogen)
Essential components of the
nucleic acids DNA and RNA
Support structures in plants (e.g. cellulose, a polymer
of glucose)
What are Proteins ?
proteins consist of polypeptides -- polymers of amino
acids
proteins have one or more polypeptides
proteins are macromolecules -- m.w. thousands to
millions millions
Simple proteins-- contain only amino acids e.g. albumin
Complex proteins -- contain non-protein components :-
Metalloproteins e.g. hemoglobin
glycoproteins
lipoproteins
AMINO ACIDS AS BUILDING BLOCKS OF PROTEINS
AMINO ACIDS AS BUILDING BLOCKS OF PROTEINS
Four levels of structure of proteins:
1. At the lowest level, --- Primary Structure: amino acids linked together by
peptide bonds
2. At next level,--- Secondary Structure: polypeptide chains of amino acids 2. At next level,--- Secondary Structure: polypeptide chains of amino acids
forming -helix or -sheets
3. At the third level,--- Tertiary Structure: 3-Dimensional globular structure
4. At the highest level, --- Quarternary Structure: several polypeptides
(subunits of the functional protein) interact with one another
FUNCTIONAL ROLES OF PROTEINS IN HUMANS
as enzymes that catalyze chemical reactions in the body
transport of ions, lipids
metabolic control
contraction (muscle proteins)
structural role (bone matrix, connective tissue)
cell membrane component
endocrine function (hormones)
immune system (immunoglobulins, interferons)
Cellular Function of Nucleic Acids Cellular Function of Nucleic Acids
Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), The reservoir of
genetic information all living forms
Ribonucleic Acid (RNA), of which there are three Ribonucleic Acid (RNA), of which there are three
main forms mRNA, tRNA and rRNA.
Lipids Lipids
Fatty acids, cholesterol, triacylglycerol
Can be derived from food diet
Most except the essential fatty acids can be
synthesized de novo from acetyl CoA
Very little FA exist in free form, majority
are esterified in various lipid types.
Lipids Function Lipids Function
Structural,
Cells Membrane (cholesterol, phospholipids)
Myelin sheath wrapped around the axons of nerve,
Wax present on surface of leaves, birds and layers
of honeycomb in a beehive. of honeycomb in a beehive.
Storage,
triacylglycerol (in animals)
Energy,
Principal forms of energy stores in many organisms
oxidation of fatty acid was shown much important than
carbohydrate .
Consequently, 1 gm of FA stores > 6x the energy of
1gm of hydrated glycogen . Stored in adipose cells
Adipose . Adipose .
Physiologic,
Prostaglandin(vasodilator),
Cortisone (hormone),
Vitamin( A), to control metabolic processes.
Function of Vitamins Function of Vitamins
All natural vitamins are organic food substances found only
in living things, that is, plants and animals. With
few exceptions the body cannot manufacture or synthesize
vitamins. With the exception of vitamin D, which is
synthesized upon exposure to sunlight.
They must be supplied in the diet or in dietary supplements.
Vitamins are essential to the normal functioning of our
bodies. They are necessary for our growth, vitality, and
general well-being.
Vitamins function as coenzymes in important body
processes
Function of Hormones Function of Hormones
The endocrine (or hormonal) system controls many
crucial aspects of the working of the body, for
example:
Development of sexual characteristics
Development of the brain. .
Important hormones in metabolism:
- Insulin
- Glucagon
- Cortisol
- Adrenaline and noradrenaline (epinephrine and
norepinephrine)
Name
Hydroxide
Carbonate
Sulfate
Phosphate
Ammonium
Formula
OH

CO
2-
SO
2-
PO4
3
NH
4
+
Charge
(-1)
(-2)
(-2)
(-3)
(+1)
Some important polyatomic ions Some important polyatomic ions
Ammonium
Nitrate
Bicarbonate
NH
4
+
NO
3

HCO
3

(+1)
(-1)
(-1)
General Analytical Methods in General Analytical Methods in
Biochemistry Biochemistry
Spectrophotometry
Electrophoresis
Chromatography Chromatography
Clinical Applications of Clinical Applications of
Biochemical Analysis Biochemical Analysis
Plasma protein
To determine/measure:
Plasma protein
Urine parameters
CSF components
Total protein in adult is 6.4- 8.3 g/dl
THANK YOU