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Extra resources for Schaum's Outline of Biology (4th Edition) (Schaum's Outlines Series)
Carbohydrates include sugars. The basic sugar unit is a monosaccharide, or simple sugar. It may contain from three to seven or more carbon atoms, but the most common monosaccharides contain six carbon atoms and are known as hexoses. EXAMPLE 2 A typical hexose monosaccharide such as glucose (also called dextrose) consists of a carbon chain to which are attached hydroxyl groups. ) These ÀOH groups confer both sweetness and water solubility upon the molecule. An ¼O is attached to a terminal carbon in glucose, making it an aldo sugar.
Their structural role will be considered in subsequent chapters. As enzymes, proteins serve as catalysts that regulate the rates of the many reactions occurring in the cell and thus control the ﬂow of molecular trafﬁc necessary for cell viability. Enzymes, typically characterized by the sufﬁx -ase, facilitate many biochemical reactions involved in cellular metabolism by lowering the activation energy of these reactions, as shown in Fig. 3. The catalyzed reaction proceeds at velocities between 106–108-fold greater than the velocity of the uncatalyzed reaction.
Environmental insults, such as from heat or an appreciable change in pH, can lead to alterations in the secondary, tertiary, and quaternary structure of a protein. This is known as denaturation. Denatured proteins generally lose their enzymatic activity and may demonstrate dramatic changes in physical properties. This demonstrates the importance of conformation in the properties of a protein. 32 CHAPTER 3 The Chemistry of Life: The Organic Level Fig. 3 An uncatalyzed reaction requires a higher activation energy, Ea, than does a catalyzed reaction.