Chapter 5 Vocabulary

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Macromolecule

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53 Terms
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Macromolecule

A giant molecule formed by the joining of smaller molecules, usually by a dehydration reaction.

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Polymer

A long molecule consisting of many similar or identical monomers linked together by covalent bonds.

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Monomer

The subunit that serves as the building block of a polymer.

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Enzyme

A macromolecule serving as a catalyst, a chemical agent that increases the rate of a reaction without being consumed by the reaction.

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Dehydration synthesis

A chemical reaction in which two molecules become covalently bonded to each other with the removal of a water molecule.

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Hydrolysis

A chemical reaction that breaks bonds between two molecules by the addition of water; functions in disassembly of polymers to monomers.

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Monosaccharides

The simplest carbohydrate, active alone or serving as a monomer for polymers. Also called simple sugars, have molecular formulas that are generally some multiple of CH2O.

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Disaccharide

A double sugar, consisting of two sugar monomers joined by a glycosidic linkage formed by a dehydration reaction.

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Glycosidic linkage

A covalent bond formed between two monosaccharides by a dehydration reaction.

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Polysaccharides

A polymer of many monosaccharides, formed by dehydration reactions.

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Starch

A storage polysaccharide in plants, consisting entirely of glucose monomers joined by glycosidic linkages.

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Glycogen

An extensively branched glucose storage polysaccharide found in the liver and muscle of animals; the animal equivalent of starch.

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Cellulose

A structural polysaccharide of plant cell walls, consisting of glucose monomers joined by β glycosidic linkages.

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Chitin

A structural polysaccharide, consisting of amino sugar monomers, found in many fungal cell walls and in the exoskeletons of all arthropods.

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Lipids

Any of a group of large biological molecules, including fats, phospholipids, and steroids, that mix poorly, if at all, with water.

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Fat

A lipid consisting of three fatty acids linked to one glycerol molecule; also called a triacylglycerol or triglyceride.

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Fatty acid

A carboxylic acid with a long carbon chain. They vary in length and in the number and location of double bonds.

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Saturated fatty acid

A fatty acid in which all carbons in the hydrocarbon tail are connected by single bonds, thus maximizing the number of hydrogen atoms that are attached to the carbon skeleton.

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Unsaturated fatty acid

A fatty acid that has one or more double bonds between carbons in the hydrocarbon tail. Such bonding reduces the number of hydrogen atoms attached to the carbon skeleton.

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Phospholipid

A lipid made up of glycerol joined to two fatty acids and a phosphate group. The hydrocarbon chains of the fatty acids act as nonpolar, hydrophobic tails, while the rest of the molecule acts as a polar, hydrophilic head. They form bilayers that function as biological membranes.

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Steroid

A type of lipid characterized by a carbon skeleton consisting of four fused rings with various chemical groups attached.

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Cholesterol

A steroid that forms an essential component of animal cell membranes and acts as a precursor molecule for the synthesis of other biologically important steroids, such as many hormones.

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Catalyst

A chemical agent that selectively increases the rate of a reaction without being consumed by the reaction.

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Polypeptide

A polymer of many amino acids linked together by peptide bonds.

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Protein

A biologically functional molecule consisting of one or more polypeptides folded and coiled into a specific three-dimensional structure.

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Amino acid

An organic molecule possessing both a carboxyl and an amino group. They serve as the monomers of polypeptides.

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Trans fat

An unsaturated fat, usually formed artificially during hydrogenation of oils, containing one or more trans double bonds.

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Peptide bond

The covalent bond between the carboxyl group on one amino acid and the amino group on another, formed by a dehydration reaction.

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Primary structure

The level of protein structure referring to the specific linear sequence of amino acids.

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Secondary structure

Regions of repetitive coiling or folding of the polypeptide backbone of a protein due to hydrogen bonding between constituents of the backbone (not the side chains).

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Alpha helix

A coiled region constituting one form of the secondary structure of proteins, arising from a specific pattern of hydrogen bonding between atoms of the polypeptide backbone (not the side chains).

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Beta pleated sheet

One form of the secondary structure of proteins in which the polypeptide chain folds back and forth.

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Tertiary structure

The overall shape of a protein molecule due to interactions of amino acid side chains, including hydrophobic interactions, ionic bonds, hydrogen bonds, and disulfide bridges.

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Hydrophobic interaction

A type of weak chemical interaction caused when molecules that do not mix with water coalesce to exclude water.

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Disulfide bridges

A strong covalent bond formed when the sulfur of one cysteine monomer bonds to the sulfur of another cysteine monomer.

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Quaternary structure

The particular shape of a complex, aggregate protein, defined by the characteristic three-dimensional arrangement of its constituent subunits, each a polypeptide.

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Denaturation

In proteins, a process in which a protein loses its native shape due to the disruption of weak chemical bonds and interactions, thereby becoming biologically inactive.

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Chaperonins

A protein complex that assists in the proper folding of other proteins.

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Gene

A discrete unit of hereditary information consisting of a specific nucleotide sequence in DNA (or RNA, in some viruses).

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Nucleic acids

A polymer consisting of many nucleotide monomers

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Deoxyribonucleic acid

A nucleic acid molecule, usually a double-stranded helix, in which each polynucleotide strand consists of nucleotide monomers with a deoxyribose sugar.

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Ribonucleic acid

A type of nucleic acid consisting of a polynucleotide made up of nucleotide monomers with a ribose sugar.

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Gene expression

The process by which information encoded in DNA directs the synthesis of proteins.

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Polynucleotides

A polymer consisting of many nucleotide monomers in a chain.

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Nucleotide

The building block of a nucleic acid, consisting of a five-carbon sugar covalently bonded to a nitrogenous base and one or more phosphate groups.

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Pyrimidine

One of two types of nitrogenous bases found in nucleotides, characterized by a six-membered ring.

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Purines

One of two types of nitrogenous bases found in nucleotides, characterized by a six-membered ring fused to a five-membered ring.

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Deoxyribose

The sugar component of DNA nucleotides, having one fewer hydroxyl group.

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Ribose

The sugar component of RNA nucleotides.

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Antiparallel

Referring to the arrangement of the sugar-phosphate backbones in a DNA double helix.

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Double helix

The form of native DNA, referring to its two adjacent antiparallel polynucleotide strands wound around an imaginary axis into a spiral shape.

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Genomics

The systematic study of whole sets of genes (or other DNA) and their interactions within a species, as well as genome comparisons between species.

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Proteomics

The systematic study of sets of proteins and their properties, including their abundance, chemical modifications, and interactions.

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