Be able to define “macromolecule" and to explain the meaning of the phrase "functional group." Be able to name the four major categories of macromolecules, to give examples of each, and to list...

Be able to define “macromolecule" and to explain the meaning of the phrase "functional group."

Be able to name the four major categories of macromolecules, to give examples of each, and to list the six elements which are most abundant within them.

Be able to contrast nucleic acids, large carbohydrates, and proteins in terms of the monomer units of which they are composed.

Be able to describe the feature that all lipids have in common.

Be able to explain what phospholipids are, and what chemical features cause them to form.

Be able to name the major reactions which occur during formation and destruction of macromolecules, and to describe the role of water.

Be able to say what atoms all carbohydrates contain.

Be able to contrast mono- and disaccharides and to give at least one example of each.

Be able to describe the difference between a saturated and an unsaturated fat.

Be able to describe the relationship between fatty acids and triacylglycerol.

Be able to recognize a peptide bond and to show where one would form between two amino acids if shown a picture of them.

Be able to describe the primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary structures of a protein and to explain why this is important.

Be able to describe what happens when a protein becomes denatured, and predict the effect of denaturation on protein function.

Be able to describe a double helix.

Be able to list the bases by name and one-letter abbreviation and to say which bases pair with one another.

Be able to contrast DNA and RNA in terms of sugar structure, base content, strandedness, and stability.

Be able to explain why A does not base pair with A, or G, etc.

Define the following terms:

  1. Amphipathic
  2. Macromolecule
  3. Organic molecule
  4. Dehydration reaction
  5. Condensation reaction
  6. Tertiary structure
  7. Functional group
  8. Phospholipid
  9. Plasma membrane
  10. Polypeptide/protein
  11. Hydrocarbon protein
  12. Integral membrane protein quaternary structure
  13. Isomer
  14. Nucleic acid
Expert Answers
gsenviro eNotes educator| Certified Educator

1. Macromolecules: These are very large molecules, formed by polymerization of smaller molecules and may contains hundreds to thousands of smaller molecules. For example: carbohydrate is a macromolecule and is composed of monosaccharides.

Functional groups: group of atoms or bonds, within a molecule, that are characterized by specific set of chemical reactions of that molecule. An example of functional group is hydroxyl (which renders the name alcohol to the particular molecule).  

2. The most common types of macromolecules include carbohydrate (e.g., starch, glycogen), nucleic acids (e.g., DNA and RNA), proteins (e.g., collagen, elastin) and lipids (e.g., fats, waxes). The six elements that are part of these macormolecules are Carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen. sulphur and phosphorous.

3. Carbohydrates are composed of monosaccharides, while proteins are composed of amino acids and nucleic acids are composed of nucleotides. Monosaccharides are composed of only C, H and O, while amino acids contain C, N, O and H. Each nucleotide has 5-carbon sugar, a phosphate group and a nitrogenous base. 

4. Common feature of lipids is the insolubility in water. They are, otherwise, soluble in a wide variety of organic solvents, but all of them are insoluble in water.

5. Phopholipids are amphiphilic lipids that are major components of cell membrane (as lipid bilayer). By ampiphilic, we mean that they contain both hydrophobic and hydrophilic components. More accurately, phospholipids contain a hydrophilic (water loving) head and a hydrophobic (Water hating) tail. It is this property (amphiphilic nature) that enables them to form the lipid bilayer, which is an essential component of cell membrane.

6. Macromolecules are formed by dehydration synthesis, a reaction in which monomers form covalent bonds and polymerize. In this sysnthesis reaction, water molecules are released.

The destruction or degradation of various macromolecules can take place through microbial degradation or denaturation reactions. During the destruction of these macromolecules, water molecules are released.

7. All the carbohydrate molecules are composed of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. 

8. Monosaccharides, such as glyceraldehyde, are the smallest carbohydrates and cannot be divided further into simpler molecules. Disaccharides, are composed of two monosaccharides. Examples of disaccharides include lactose and sucrose.