Humboldt State University ® Department of Chemistry

Richard A. Paselk

Chem 438

Introductory Biochemistry

Spring 2007

Lecture Notes: 17 January

© R. Paselk 2006
 
 

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Introduction

Syllabus

Tentative Schedule

Who am I?

How to study:

Notes are key-nearly everything you will need to know I will cover in lecture. So how can you get the most out of your notes?

Don't rely on/be seduced by on-line notes.

Discussion: Look at Discussion page on internet for weekly topics/assignments. Note info in Syllabus.

Weekly Review on web: Look at Review page on internet for weekly topics

Course intent:

You will be expected to do some synthesis and problem solving in doing this course.

Biochemistry focuses on a limited range of areas within the manifestation of life, but as we shall see this range is still vast:

  1. The chemical properties and 3-D structures of biomolecules.
  2. The interactions of biomolecules with each other and with inorganic molecules and ions.
  3. The synthesis and degradation of substances by organisms.
  4. Energy use and storage by organisms.
  5. The organization and regulation of biochemical systems.
  6. The molecular mechanisms of the storage, transmission and expression of biological information.

In this course I will focus on these issues in eukaryotes, specifically humans, because I want you to understand a functional system with all of the regulation etc. it requires. We will look at eukaryotes because they involve intracellular compartmentation and humans because I want a system with multiple intercommunicating organs and cell types, and because the human system is probably the best understood eukaryote system.

We will largely ignore biological information (#6 above) since most of you will cover that in your Biology courses, particularly genetics.

The Elements of Life

First, we will start with the basic requirements of an idealized, simplest life form and ask why life should use the particular atoms and molecules we see dominating in living organisms.

Periodic Table of Biologically Important Elements
 

 H
 

 He

 Li

Be
 

 B

C

N

O

F

Ne

Na

Mg

 Al

Si

P

S

Cl

Ar

K

Ca

Sc

Ti

V

Cr

Mn

Fe

Co

Ni

Cu

Zn

Ga

Ge

As

Se

Br

Kr
         

Mo
               Sn    

I
 

The following observations may be made regarding the elements of life:

Life is largely a phenomena of hydrogen and the second period of the Periodic Table. That is, the major component elements (red) in all known organisms are from these periods. Why these four elements?

Pathway Diagrams

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Lecture Notes

Last modified 17 January 2007