April 2, 2019

Proteins are molecules built from amino acids. Proteins make up a large portion of our body and serve extremely important functions. These functions are:

Enzymes - biological catalysts that speed up the rate of reactions in our body.

Messengers - some hormones are proteins. Hormones are chemical messengers that are synthesized and secreted by endocrine tissues and target specific organs.

Immunoproteins - provide protection...

February 27, 2019

 Fatty acid are hydrocarbon chains with carboxylic acid at the end. Unsaturated fatty acid contain one or more double bonds, usually in cis conformation. There are two methods of naming the unsaturated double bonds, delta and omega. 

Delta naming system:

1. Count carbons starting from the carboxylic end. The total number of carbons in the fatty acid is the first number in the name.

2. The second number represents the...

September 27, 2018

Fatty acids are types of lipids that can be found in many different roles in our body including energy storage. Fatty acids consist of hydrocarbon chain with carboxylic acid at the end. Thus fatty acids are called amphiphilic (they have both hydrophobic and hydrophilic parts). Fatty acids can be saturated (all single bonds) or unsaturated (have double bonds).

September 16, 2018

Prion is a misfolded version (wrong secondary and tertiary structure) of prion protein that is transformed to an infectious particle that leads to disease. How does prion come about? Generally, when proteins get misfolded in our body, they are either sent to be repaired or get degraded by protease (an enzyme that breaks down proteins). Prions, however, are resistant to the protease and remain misfolded and undegraded. T...

September 2, 2018

Isoelectric point or pI is a ph at which an amino acid or protein has a net charge of zero.

Biochemistry classes always ask students to find pI for an amino acid and here is the short and sweet way to do it.

For neutral amino acids, two pka's will be given, and pI = (pKa1 + pKa2)/2

For acidic amino acids ( aspartic acid and glutamic acid), we average out the two lowest pka, so we do not take into account the amino terminal...

August 21, 2017

Which amino acid has the lowest isoelectric focus point?

a. Lys

b. Arg

c. Gln

d. Asp

Isoelectric focus point or pI is the pH at which a protein has no net charge and does not move in an electric field. Isoelectric focus point basically tells us how acidic or basic a protein is. The more acidic the protein is the lower it's pI is. Therefore, looking at the answer choice we must first determine whether these amino acids are ac...

February 2, 2017

All proteins are composed of amino acids. Amino acids are molecules that have an amino group (NH3), an acid group (COOH), and an R group that differs with each amino acid. 

Amino acids can be hydrophobic (non polar) such as Valine, and Leucine, or polar, as well as acidic and basic. 

There are so many different proteins in our body that at one point scientists thought that proteins and not DNA were the genetic material re...

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