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Chemical Basis of Life

Chapter 2


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; cant be broken down or

decomposed to 2 or more different substances Compounds-2 or more elements chemically combined Most elements cant exist alone

Hydrogen, oxygen

Elements in Body
26 elements in body

11 are major elements

Table 2-1; page 37 Carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen make up

96% of body Remaining 15 elements are called trace elements (less than 0.1%)

1805, John Dalton proposed the concept that

matter is composed of atoms Proton, electron, neutron Elements are neutral

Atomic Number and Weight

Elements differ in their chemical and physical


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


#proton + #neutron

Energy Levels
1 e- cant be located at a given time Niels Bohr (1922) e- moved in regular

patterns around nucleus; like planets in solar system Bohr model e- shown in shells- 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

Energy Levels
In chemical reactions outer energy level

(shell) participate in forming chemical bonds Each level; electrons group in pairs General rule: atom is inert and unable to react with another atom if outermost level has 4 pairs of e- (stable configuration) If it isnt full-can react (lose, gain or share e-)

Octet rule Holds true for atoms except those with 1 level and is filled by 2 max e-

Isotopes- 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

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

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, or triple bonds Single-1 shared paired Double-2 shared paired Triple-3 shared paired

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

Chemical Reactions
Involve interactions between atoms and

molecules that involve the formation or breaking of chemical bonds. 3 basic types

Synthesis reactions Decomposition reactions Exchange reactions

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

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, or captured for storage and future use AB A + B + Energy

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

Reversible Reactions
Proceed in both directions

Many synthesis, decompositions, and

exchange reactions are reversible An arrow pointing in both directions represent reversible reactions A+B AB

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

Bodys 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

Large group of inorganic molecules

Acids, bases, salts

Substance dissociate in solution to form ions Positively charged ions are cations;

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


Dissociate to yield hydroxide ions (OH-) or other electrolytes that combine with hydrogen ions Proton acceptors

pH Scale
Measuring acidity and alkalinity (fig 2-12) 1. pH indicates the degree of acidity or

alkalinity of a solution
2. pH of 7 indicates neutrality (H+ = OH-); pH

of less than 7 indicates acid; pH greater than 7 indicates alkalinity

1. maintains the constancy of the pH 2. minimize changes in the concentrations of

H+ and OH 3. act as a reservoir for hydrogen ions

Salts (Table 2-3)

1. 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

Organic Molecules (fig 2-13; table 2-4)

Organic describes compounds that contain

C-C or C-H bonds

1. Carbohydrates 2. Proteins 3. Lipids 4. Nucleic Acids

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

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


Amino Acids (fig 2-16 thru 2-18)

Building blocks of proteins Essential amino acids 8 amino acids that cant 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

Levels of protein structure (fig 2-19)

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

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

Triglycerides or fats (fig 2-20; 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

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


Commonly called tissue hormones

Produced by cell membranes throughout the

body Effects are many and varied: however, they are released in response to a specific stimulus and are then inactivatid

Crucial role:

Regulating effects of several hormones Influence blood pressure Secretion of digestive juices Enhance body immune system and inflammatory response Blood clotting respiration

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

Nucleic Acids
DNA-deoxyribonucleic acid Composed of deoxyribonucleotides-pentose sugar, phophate group, 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

Nucleic Acids
RNA ribonucleic acids

Composed of pentose sugar, phosphate group, nitrogenous base Nitrogenous bases for RNA are A, U. G, C

Biomolecules combined
Large molecules can be joined to form larger

molecules 1. gives molecules completely different function 2. names of combined molecules tell what is in them

Base word-which component is dominant Prefix-component in lesser amount

Adenosine triphoshate (ATP) Lipoproteins Glycoproteins Table 2-4

All chemical reactions that occur in body cells Catabolism Anabolism

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, which is then used to do cellular work Fig 2-26

Chemical reactions that join simple molecules

together to form more complex molecules Chemical reaction responsible for anabolism is dehydration synthesis

Adenosine triphosphate

Ribose, adenine, three phosphates

High-energy bonds between phosphate groups Break bonds=release of energy (catabolic)

Energy stored in ATP is used to do the bodys work

Energy currency of cells ATP split into ADP and a phosphate group If ATP is depleted during prolonged exercise, ADP is

used for energy