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Chemical Basis of Life

Chapter 2


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1. Explain why an understanding of basic chemistry is important in the study of life processes. 2. Explain the relationship between elements, compounds, atoms, and molecules. 3. List the major elements and major mineral elements found in cytoplasm. 4. Discuss atomic structure and explain how an atom's electron shells influence its ability to enter into chemical reactions. 5. Compare and contrast the three major types of chemical bonds. 6. List and describe the three basic types of chemical reactions that occur in living material. 7. Discuss the properties that make water such an important inorganic molecule in living organisms. 8. Discuss the concept of pH and its relationship to acids, bases, and salts in the body. 9. List the four major groups of organic substances in the body and give examples and functions of specific types in each group. 10. Distinguish between the four major groups of organic substances by identifying an important functional group or "building block" unique to each. 11. Define the term bioenergy and identify the most important of the bioenergy molecules. 12. Define or explain the following terms or phrases: atomic number, octet rule, isotope, polymer, electrolyte, polarity, nucleotide, base pair, and high-energy bond. 13. Describe the structure and function of enzymes.

Elements and Compounds
 Matter-anything that has space and takes up


Elements or compounds

 Element-”pure”; can’t be broken down or

decomposed to 2 or more different substances  Compounds-2 or more elements chemically combined  Most elements can’t exist alone

Hydrogen, oxygen

1%) . page 37  Carbon. nitrogen make up 96% of body  Remaining 15 elements are called trace elements (less than 0. oxygen. hydrogen.Elements in Body  26 elements in body  11 are major elements  Table 2-1.

electron.Atoms  1805. neutron  Elements are neutral . John Dalton proposed the concept that matter is composed of atoms  Proton.


Atomic Number and Weight  Elements differ in their chemical and physical properties  Different number of protons  Atomic number is the number of protons  Identifies type of element  92 elements occur naturally in nature  110 elements in periodic table  Atomic weight (mass)-mass of a single atom  #proton + #neutron .


relative distance from nucleus  Each shell=energy level   Each can only hold certain maximum # of e# and arrangement important because it determines if atom is chemically active . like planets in solar system  Bohr model e.can’t be located at a given time  Niels Bohr (1922) – e.Energy Levels  1 e.moved in regular patterns around nucleus.shown in shells.



(stable configuration)  If it isn’t full-can react (lose.Energy Levels  In chemical reactions outer energy level (shell) participate in forming chemical bonds  Each level. gain or share e-)   Octet rule Holds true for atoms except those with 1 level and is filled by 2 max e- . electrons group in pairs  General rule: atom is inert and unable to react with another atom if outermost level has 4 pairs of e.

contain the same number of protons but different number of neutrons  Same basic chemical properties and same atomic number  Differ in atomic mass  Hydrogen and Carbon  Radioactive isotope – unstable and undergoes nuclear breakdown  Emit nuclear particles and radiation-decay .Isotope  Isotopes.


Chemical Bonds  Interactions between 2 or more atoms results in chemical reaction  Gain. lose or share electrons (octet rule)  Result of reactions = molecule  Atoms held together by chemical bonds    Ionic Covalent hydrogen .

Ionic or Electrovalent Bonds   Gaining or losing electrons Make ions (positive or negative ) .

or triple bonds  Single-1 shared paired  Double-2 shared paired  Triple-3 shared paired .Covalent Bonds  Share electrons  Can share one or more pairs of electrons  Great significance in body  Major elements almost always share electrons  Can be single. double.

Hydrogen Bonds
 Can exist within or between biologically

important molecules  Do not form new molecules  Much weaker than ionic and covalent bonds  Result from unequal charge distribution on a molecule

Polar molecules Ex. Water Molecule

Polar Molecules
 Water is electrically neutral  It has a partial positive charge and a partial

negative charge

It has opposite charges at different ends of the molecule

 Polar molecules serve to weakly attach the

negative side of one water molecule with the positive side of an adjacent water molecule

Accounts for many of water unique properties

 Important in maintaining the 3D structure of

proteins and nucleic acids


 3 basic types    Synthesis reactions Decomposition reactions Exchange reactions .Chemical Reactions  Involve interactions between atoms and molecules that involve the formation or breaking of chemical bonds.

Synthesis Reactions  2 or more substances form a different substance  Result in the formation of new bonds  Energy is required  A+B AB  Occurs often in body  EX: cells combine amino acids to form proteins  EX: body synthesizes new tissue in wound repair .

or captured for storage and future use  AB A + B + Energy .Decomposition Reactions  Result in breakdown of a complex substance into two or more simpler substances  Chemical bonds are broken down and energy is released  Can be release as heat.

Exchange Reactions  Permits two different reactants to exchange components and form two new products  AB + CD AD + CB  Break down two compounds and synthesize two new compounds .

and exchange reactions are reversible  An arrow pointing in both directions represent reversible reactions A+B AB . decompositions.Reversible Reactions  Proceed in both directions  Many synthesis.

Organic and Inorganic Compounds  Organic – C-C and C-H bonds  Larger and more complex  Functional group-specialized arrangements attached to C .

Inorganic Compounds  Inorganic-few have carbon atoms and none have C-C or C-H bonds .

Inorganic-Water  Body’s most abundant and important compound  Properties of Water  Polarity= allows water to act as effective solvent. ionizes substances in solution  The solvent allows for transportation of essential materials throughout body  High specific heat-lose/gain large amounts of heat with little change to temperature  High heat of vaporization-water requires absorption of significant amounts of heat to change water from a liqid to a gas .

Inorganic-Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide  Closely related to cellular respiration  Oxygen-required to complete decomposition reactions necessary for the release of energy in the body  Carbon Dioxide-produced as a waste product and also helps maintain the appropriate acidbase balance in body .

salts  Substance dissociate in solution to form ions  Positively charged ions are cations. bases.Inorganic-Electrolytes  Large group of inorganic molecules  Acids. negatively charged ions are anions .

Acids and Bases  Common and important chemical substances that are chemical opposites  Acids   Release a hydrogen ion (H+) within solution (proton donor) Level of acidity depends on the # of hydrogen ions a particular acid will release  Bases   Dissociate to yield hydroxide ions (OH-) or other electrolytes that combine with hydrogen ions Proton acceptors .

pH indicates the degree of acidity or alkalinity of a solution  2. pH greater than 7 indicates alkalinity . pH of 7 indicates neutrality (H+ = OH-).pH Scale  Measuring acidity and alkalinity (fig 2-12)  1. pH of less than 7 indicates acid.


minimize changes in the concentrations of H+ and OH 3.Buffers  1. maintains the constancy of the pH  2. act as a “reservoir” for hydrogen ions .

Compound that results from chemical interaction of an acid and a base  2. Reaction between an acid and a base to form a salt and water is called a neutralization reaction .Salts (Table 2-3)  1.

Carbohydrates 2. Proteins 3. Nucleic Acids . table 2-4)  Organic describes compounds that contain C-C or C-H bonds 1. Lipids 4.Organic Molecules (fig 2-13.


hydrogen. five-pentoses  Fig 2-14  2. and oxygen  Commonly called sugars and starches  1.Carbohydrates  Contains carbon. Monosaccharides  Simple sugars with short carbon chains. Disaccharides and polysaccharids  Two or more simple sugars that are bonded together through a synthesis reaction  Fig 2-15 . those with 6 carbons are hexoses.


Proteins  Most abundant organic compound  Chainlike polymers  Two broad categories   Structural proteins form the structures of the body Functional proteins cause chemical changes in the molecules  Shape of protein molecules determines function .

Amino Acids (fig 2-16 thru 2-18)  Building blocks of proteins  Essential amino acids  8 amino acids that can’t be produced by body  Nonessential amino acids  12 a.a. can be produced in body  Amino acids consist  Carbon atom  Hydrogen atom  Amino group  Carboxyl group  Side chain .




coils touch in many places and are welded by covalent and hydrogen bonds  4. Primary –  Number.Levels of protein structure (fig 2-19)  4 levels of protein organization  1. Secondary Polypeptide is coiled or bent into pleated sheets stabilized by hydrogen bonds  3. protein contains more than one polypeptide chain . Tertiary –  Secondary structure can be further twisted. globular shape. and sequence of a.a that make up polypeptide chain  2. Quaternary Highest level. kind.


Lipids (table 2-6)  Water-insoluble organic molecules that are critically important biological compounds  Major roles    Energy source Structural role Integral parts of cell membranes .

2-21)  Most abundant lipids and most conctrated source of energy  Building blocks of triglycerides are glycerol and fatty acids   Glycerol-same for each fat molecule Fatty acids-different and determine the chemical nature .Triglycerides or fats (fig 2-20.



Triglycerides  Types of fatty acids   Saturated fatty acids.all available bonds are filled Unsaturated fatty acids-one or more double bonds  Formed by a dehydration synthesis .

Phospholipids (2-22)  Fat compounds similar to triglyceride  One end of the phospholipid is water soluble. the other end is fat soluble  Can join two different chemical environments .


Steroids (2-23)  Main component in steroid nucleus  Involved in many structural and functions roles .


they are released in response to a specific stimulus and are then inactivatid .Prostaglandins  Commonly called “tissue hormones”  Produced by cell membranes throughout the body  Effects are many and varied: however.

Prostaglandins  Crucial role:       Regulating effects of several hormones Influence blood pressure Secretion of digestive juices Enhance body immune system and inflammatory response Blood clotting respiration .

Prostaglandins-medicine  Use of prostaglandins and prostaglandin inhibitors as drugs is exciting and rapidly growing area  Treatment of disease. symptoms. medical conditions     Relieving menstrual cramps Asthma High blood pressure ulcers .

phophate group.Nucleic Acids  DNA-deoxyribonucleic acid  Composed of deoxyribonucleotides-pentose sugar. nitrogenous base  Two long chains of deoxyribonucleotides coiled in double helix (fig 2-24)  Alternating deoxyribose and phophate units=backbone of chains  Base pairs hold 2 chains of DNA together  Specific sequence of more than 100 million base pairs = 1 human DNA molecule  DNA functions as molecule of heredity .


C .Nucleic Acids  RNA – ribonucleic acids   Composed of pentose sugar. nitrogenous base Nitrogenous bases for RNA are A. phosphate group. U. G.

Biomolecules combined  Large molecules can be joined to form larger molecules  1. names of combined molecules tell what is in them   Base word-which component is dominant Prefix-component in lesser amount . gives molecules completely different function  2.

Examples  Adenosine triphoshate (ATP)  Lipoproteins  Glycoproteins  Table 2-4 .

Metabolism  All chemical reactions that occur in body cells  Catabolism  Anabolism .


which is then used to do cellular work  Fig 2-26 .Catabolism  Chemical reactions that break down complex compounds into simpler ones and release energy  Hydrolysis is a common catabolic reaction  More than half the energy released is put back into storage as ATP.


Anabolism  Chemical reactions that join simple molecules together to form more complex molecules  Chemical reaction responsible for anabolism is dehydration synthesis .

three phosphates  High-energy bonds between phosphate groups  Break bonds=release of energy (catabolic)  Energy stored in ATP is used to do the body’s work  Energy currency of cells  ATP split into ADP and a phosphate group  If ATP is depleted during prolonged exercise.ATP  Adenosine triphosphate  Ribose. adenine. ADP is used for energy .