Introduction to Biomolecules - Biology

Introduction to Biomolecules - Biology

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Biochemistry: Understanding Living Organisms At the Molecular Level

A major goal of biochemistry is to study the cellular processes of living organisms and how these processes relate to the functioning of the organism. Research in the area of biochemistry has been extremely successful over the last century; we now know the atoms and biomolecules that make up living organisms, the central dogma around which biological information is transferred and how this information results in a greater understanding of ourselves and the world in which we live. One of the most important results from research in biochemistry is that all organisms are uniform at the molecular level and the diversity we see today is a result of evolution.

What biomolecules make up living organisms?

List of biomolecules in E. coli

Biomolecules in E. Coli% by WeightNumbers of Types
Amino Acids*0.4%20 [including 120 a.a. involved in non protein function
Lipids (free)2%50
Secondary Compounds0.2%250
Nucleic AcidsRNA= 6%, DNA=1%RNA= 1000, DNA=1
Lipid (membranes)2%50
Various (lignins, isoprenoids)

Highlighted in this table are four major classes of biomolecules. The *polymers of life include proteins, polysaccharides, nucleic acids, and lipids and their corresponding *monomers, amino acids, sugars, nucleotides, and free lipids, respectively. There are also combinations of monomers and polymers such as glycolipids, lipoproteins, etc.

Characteristics of Biomolecules

Handedness (Chirality), Sense, Directionality

Forces that Hold Molecules Together

Covalent Bonds, Hydrogen Bonds, Ionic Bonds, Van Der Waals Forces, Hydrophobic Interactions

Weak Forces

Stability and Flexibility, Structural Complementarity, Recognition, Complexes (especially Van Der Waals), Limited Environmental Tolerances


implied in any changes in the forces/bonds that are holding molecules together- stability

synthesis, polymerization of biomolecules (metabolism) imply energy transformations

Decay, turnover (related to entropy)

Other transformations (e.g., light ---> chemical instability)


Implied by synthesis, decay—chemical reactions, limited by activation energy structural basis of enzyme catalysis, measurement, and organization of catalyzed sequential reactions are the major foci of the course


Course considers biomolecules—proteins, sugars, lipids—and transformations among them (metabolism), with emphasis on proteins (enzymes) and their role in catalyzing metabolic reactions

Energy is important: distinguish between binding energy, energy transformations, etc. (nucleic acids are treated in BIS 101; complex cell activities in BIS 104)

Biomolecules of Microorganisms: An Overview

The below mentioned article provides an overview on Biomolecules of Microorganisms. After reading this article you will learn about: 1. Introduction to Biomolecules of Microorganisms 2. Biosurfactants or Microbial Surfactants.

Introduction to Biomolecules of Microorganisms:

As the micro-organisms dwell in a variety of environments they are often difficult to isolate, screen, and through strain development etc. can be used for a variety of purposes related to industrial microbiology. Various cultures of such microorganisms can be stored on in a refrigerator (at5°C) or at -20°C in a freezer, an at times in liquid nitrogen (at-150°C to -196°C) to reduce their metabolic activities.

It is all done to eliminate genetic changes and retain viability. A variety of fungi, viruses, algae and yeasts have been preservel using liquid nitrogen. Some fungi and actinomycetes have also been preserved using dried cultures (of oil). Another method is lyophilization, or freeze-drying which involves the freezing of a culture after drying under vacuum (that sublimes the cell water).

The biomolecules produced by micro-organisms are covered under bacteriocins.

The biomolecules produced by eukaryotes and studied under eucaryocins. However, a new field of achaeocins is still in infancy, (e.g. Haloarchaea includes archead as well as bacterial organisms).

Currently so many erctemophiles are being screened for biomolecules. The Downs tream processing is a key process in production of biological molecules using microorganisms. One such example came from the hot geyeres of yellow-stone National Park (U.S.A.) where the bacteria Thermus aquaticus growing at temperature between 80-95°C became source of Taq polymerase enzyme (to be used in P C R).

On the contrary certain Psychrophiles have evolved biomolecule that function at cold temperatures.

It can be mentioned that microorganisms have recently been explored for a number of biomolecules and other novel genes producing these specific compounds.

They are not only being explored from a variety of hitherto unknown environments like (marine themal vents, polar environments, deep wells and a variety of soils etc.) they are also becoming ideal organisms for gene-minig with regards to novel-genes to be later used in various technologies to produce useful antitbiotics etc.

And a lot of funding is thus being made in the interaction of mono particle with biomolecules and microorganisms. It is one of the fastly growing field of research in applied microbiology.

All the various biomolecules produced by microorganisms can be broadly categorized under these categories:

A variety of biosurfactants and surface-active molecules are produced by mircro-organisms (e.g., as from a strain of bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa). A brief list of microorganisms and some biotics produced by them is given below:

Some Microorganisms and Antibiotics produced by them:

Biosurfactants or Microbial Surfactants:

“Biosurfactants” or microbial surfactants are surface-active biomolecules that are produced by a variety of microorganisms. Biosurfactants have gained importance in fields of enhanced oil recovery, environmental bioremediation. Food processing and pharmaceuticals owing, to their unique properties-higher biodegradability and effectiveness at extremes of temperature, pH and salinity.

However, large scale production of these molecules has not been realized because of low yield in the production processes.

The micro-organisms produce a broad range of bioactive natural products important to human health or are of high value to industries. These products can be derived as by-products of biofuel feed-stocks or developed in specialized or engineered plants or microorganisms. Micro-organisms are the main source of complex biomolecules used as prescription pharmaceuticals.

Due to their low production cost, plant microorganisms are potential platforms for metabolic engineering of high-value, bioactive molecules. As well, micro-organisms can be engineered for production of chemicals via sophisticated biosynthetic pathways in fermentation system.

A comprehensive system biology approach has the potential to reveal the fundamental mechanisms of natural product metabolism in key organisms and, ultimately, facilitate the engineering of bioactive pharmaceuticals and nutriceuticals.

Metagenomic approaches, involving direct analysis of DNA from highly complex microbial communities, have the potential to identify new or improved biosynthetic pathways and processes for production of valuable biomolecules.

Coordination Chemistry Principles

In metalloproteins, metal ions are usually coordinated by nitrogen, oxygen, or sulfur centers belonging to amino acid residues of the protein. These donor groups are often provided by side-chains on the amino acid residues. Important donor groups include:

  • imidazole (a nitrogen atom donor) substituents in histidine residues
  • thiolate (sulfur atom) substituents in cysteinyl residues
  • carboxylate groups (oxygen atom) provided by aspartate

Given the diversity of metalloproteins, virtually all amino acid residues have been shown to bind metal centers. The peptide backbone also provides donor groups these include deprotonated amides and the amide carbonyl oxygen centers (oxygen and nitrogen atoms as ligands).

In addition to donor groups that are provided by amino acid residues, a large number of organic cofactors function as ligands. Perhaps most famous are the tetradentate N4 macrocyclic ligands incorporated into the heme protein (most commonly seen as part of hemoglobin). Inorganic ligands such as sulfide and oxide are also common.

Heme BHeme B is a porphyrin (four linked pyrrole rings) that readily binds iron, as shown. This is an example of a biomolecule that contains non-protein ligands for a transition metal.

Biochemistry as termed as biological chemistry or physiological chemistry. Carl Neuberg father of biochemistry studied the structure of biomolecules and the movement of soluble biomolecules inside or outside the cells.

In the middle of 1900s, the demand for biochemistry increased in the field of medication, microbiology, and nutrition. Biochemistry is concerned with the study of large chemical molecules like carbohydrates, lipids, and amino acids. It is also the study of functions and the chemical construction of biomolecules within a living organism.

What are Biomolecules:

Biomolecules are that molecule that plays a vital role in the preservation and metabolic development of living organisms. The human body is the collection of foremost elements such as carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen that combine to form a prodigious diversity of molecules called biomolecules. Due to the combination of the foremost elements four major complex biomolecules are formed that are named as, carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids. These molecules play a very vital role to distinguish the nature and functions of biomolecules.`

Biochemistry of Bacterial cell and Mammalian cell.

All living organisms made of organic compounds such as carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids. Among inorganic substances are carbon dioxide, water, acids, basis, and salts.

Typically, an animal cell and bacterial cell consist of following chemical compounds as shown in the chart:

Watch the video: Βιολογία Κατεύθυνσης Γ Λυκείου κεφ. 6 άσκ. 3 (July 2022).


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