Human biochemistry

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  • Created by: i3lena
  • Created on: 12-04-15 17:46
structural; protective covering in hair and finger nails
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structural; connective tissue in shin and tendons
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structural; contractile action in muscles to bring about movement
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enzyme; hydrolyses lactose into glucose and galactose
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hormone; controls and maintains the concentration of glucose in the blood
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protective mechanisms; act as antibodies which help destroy foreign pathogens
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transport molecule; carries oxygen from lungs to all respiring cells
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storage molecule; food substance in milk
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lubrication; mucous secretions to reduce friction in many parts of the body
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Amino acids
monomers of proteins; crystalline compounds with high melting points and a much greater solubility in water than in non-polar solvents.
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dipolar ions - having both positive and negative charges on the same group of atoms
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Isoelectric point
the intermediate pH at which the amino acid is electrically neutral
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Primary structure
the amino acid sequence, which dictates the the entire structure and function of the protein
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Secondary structure
the folding of the polypeptide chain as a result of hydrogen bonding between peptide groups along its length; two types: α-helices and β-pleated sheets.
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a regular coiled configuration of the polypeptide chain that twists like a spiral staircase; flexible and elastic because the intra-chain hydrogen bonds easily break and reform as the molecule is stretched
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β-pleated sheet
a structure composed of 'side by side' polypeptides, which are in extended form; the polypeptides are arranged in pleated sheets that are cross-linked by inter-chain hydrogen bonds; flexible but inelastic
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Tertiary structure
a very specific 3D structure called the protein's conformation, which results form further twisting, folding, and coiling of the polypeptide chain as a result of interactions between the R groups, known as side chains
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R-group interactions
hydrophobic interactions, hydrogen bonding, ionic bonds, disulfide bridges
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Hydrophobic interactions
between non-polar side chains, based on van der Waals' forces between induced dipoles
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Hydrogen bonding
between polar chains
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Ionic bond
between side chains carrying a charge
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Disulfide bridges
between the sulfur atoms in the amino acid cysteine
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the loss of a protein's specific tertiary structure as a result of changes in temperature or pH, which results in malfunction
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Quaternary structure
the association between different polypeptide chains that make up a protein (collagen, hemoglobin)
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Monomers of carbohydrates containing a carbonyl group and at least two hydroxyl groups
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Adipose tissue
energy reservoirs that swell and shrink as fat is deposited and withdrawn; protects some organs and insulates the body
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major component of membranes that bind cells; help determine the selective transport of metabolites across cell boundaries
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Myelin sheath
gives electrical insulation to the nerves and speeds up nervous transmission
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influences the fluidity of cell membranes, and hence their permeability
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the deposition of fat in the walls of the main blood vessels, restricting blood flow
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Essential fatty acids
fatty acids that cannot be manufactured by the body, and must therefore be consumed (omega-3- and omega-6-polyunsaturated fatty acid)
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saturated triglycerides with relatively high melting points that are solids at room temperature
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unsaturated triglycerides with weaker intermolecular forces and lower melting points that are liquids at room temperature
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Linoleic acid
an essential polyunsaturated fatty acid with the first double bond on the 6th carbon relevant to the terminal -CH3 group (omega-6)
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an essential polyunsaturated fatty acid with the first double bond on the 3rd carbon relevant to the terminal -CH3 group (omega-3)
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Iodine number
the number of grams of iodine which react with 100g of fat
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molecules that are required in the diet for absorption and use by the body
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needed in extremely small amounts, generally less than 0.005% of body mass; used for production of enzymes, hormones and other essential substances; EXAMPLES: vitamins and trace minerals like Fe, Cu, Zn, I, Se, Mn, Mo, Cr, Co, B
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needed in relatively large amounts; used to provide energy, and build and maintain its structure; EXAMPLES: carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, minerals like Na, Mg, K, Ca, P, S, and Cl.
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organic compounds needed in small amounts for normal growth and metabolism that are not synthesized in the body
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vitamin A; fat soluble; involved in the visual cycle in the eye, and it is particularly important for vision at low light intensity; found in orange and yellow fruits and vegetables, spinach and egg yolks
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Ascorbic acid
vitamin C; water soluble; cofactor in some enzymic reactions; important in tissue regeneration following injury; helps give resistance to some diseases
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vitamin D; fat soluble; chemically similar to cholesterol; stimulates uptake of calcium ions by cells and so is important int he health of bones and teeth
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swelling of the thyroid gland caused by lack of iodine in the diet; iodine is found in most types of seafood;the world's largest cause of preventable mental retardation, which can be controlled by adding iodine to salt
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dry eyes and night blindness; can be added to margarine in the process of 'vitamin A fortification'
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iron deficiency causing fatigue, brittle nails, poor endurance, and lowered immunity; iron is found in red meats, green leafy vegetables, nuts; fortification most effective when added with vitamin C to cereal flours and milk products;
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chemical messengers produced and secreted by endocrine glands that are transported to target cells by the blood stream
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How does oral contraception work?
The pill contains a mixture of progesterone and estrogen and so acts to suppress the secretion of FSH and LH, which normally work in tandem to trigger ovulation. In effect, it stimulates the hormonal conditions of pregnancy.
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hormone replacement therapy is a medication prescribed to women at menopause to alleviate some of the unpleasant symptoms; it works by replacing the hormones secreted in the body prior to menopause
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male steroid hormones
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Anabolic steroids
sex hormones that promote tissue growth, especially of muscles; EXAMPLE: testosterone is used to treat disorders of the testes and breast cancer
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biological catalysts that control every biochemical reaction by lowering the activation energy
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Co-factors / Coenzymes
non-protein molecules that bind to enzymes to initiate activity; EXAMPLES: vitamins
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a reactant in the reaction catalyzed by the enzyme
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Active site
a small region of the enzyme the substrate binds to
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the substrate concentration at Vmax/2; varies with pH & temperature; a low value means the reaction proceeds quickly even at low substrate concentration, while a high value means the enzyme has a low affinity for its substrate
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the reversable state of preventing the enzyme from working, by lowering the temperature
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Competitive inhibitors
bind at the active site of the enzyme
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Non-competitive inhibitors
bind at a position away from the active site, called the allosteric site
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larger with two fused rings; adenine & guanine
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smaller with a single ring; cytosine, thymine & uracil
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a triplet of bases found on mRNA
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the process of chemical breakdown of energy-rich molecule sin cells with the release of energy
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Card 2


structural; connective tissue in shin and tendons



Card 3


structural; contractile action in muscles to bring about movement


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Card 4


enzyme; hydrolyses lactose into glucose and galactose


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Card 5


hormone; controls and maintains the concentration of glucose in the blood


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