Organic Chemistry:

Carbohydrates, Proteins, Lipids, & Nucleic Acids

Background Information

Organic v. Inorganic Compounds:

  • Organic is carbon-based, and molecules are quite large with many atoms, and typically associated with living things, always covalent bonding.
  • Inorganic is not carbon-based, and contains p+ and n- ions.

Importance of Carbon: can bond with up to 4 different atoms to form chains, rings, and branches; and it will always form covalent bonds and share electrons.

  • Carbon has the potential to create huge molecules.

Functional Group: a specific combination of bonded atoms that always react in the same way.

Isomers: organic molecules with identical molecular formulas, but a different arrangement of atoms.


Formation Of Macromolecules

Types: Carbohydrates, Proteins, Lipids, and Nucleic Acids.

Monomer: Subunits of macromolecules.

Polymer: Chains of monomers that make up macromolecules (it is a macromolecule).

Dehydration: Joining monomers to form polymers (attaching monomers----->loses H2O; exits the reaction) Ex: C6H12O6 OR C12H22O11-------> went through dehydration

Hydrolysis: Breaking polymers apart into monomers (Hydrolysis- water; destroy or break apart); you break apart a polymer by adding H2O.



Carbohydrates: Organic Molecule made of C, H, & O in a 1:2:1 ratio [Carbo (Carbon); Hydrate (Water or H2O); CH20]

Functions: Provides short term energy (also provides structure in some organisms)

Monomers: Monosaccharide

Two Types of Carbohydrates:

1.) Simple Sugars: immediate energy

2.) Starch: 12-24 hour energy

Monosaccharide: contain a single sugar molecule (Ex: Glucose, Ribose, Deoxyribose, or Fructose)

Disaccharide: 2 monosaccharides joined by a dehydration reaction

Polysaccharides: long chains of monosaccharides (polymers)

  • Starch: storage form of glucose in plants
  • Glycogen: storage form of glucose in the liver
  • Cellulose (plant’s cell walls) & Chitin (exoskeletons): make up cell walls

Foods Containing Simple Sugars: Candy, Fruit, Sugar, Ice Cream, Desserts

Foods Containing Starch: Pasta, Cereal, Bread, Corn, Potatoes (grain products)



Proteins: organic molecules that provide structure & function made of C, H, O,& N


  • Support/Structure
  • Metabolism (Every Reaction in the Body)
  • Transport (Hemoglobin)
  • Defense (Antibodies)
  • Motion (Muscles)
  • Regulation (Homeostasis)

Monomer: Amino Acids

Parts of an Amino Acid:

  1. Amino Group=NH2
  2. Carboxyl (Acidic Group)=COOH
  3. R-Group (differentiates amino acids)

Peptide Bond: Joins two amino acids.

Polypeptide: A long chain of amino acids, connected by peptide bonds.

Levels of Protein Organization

  1. Primary Structure: Sequence of amino acids that form a polypeptide chain.
  2. Secondary Structure: H-bonds between amino acids cause a helix to form OR a pleated sheet.
  3. Tertiary Structure: Helix folds due to bonding of R-groups.
  4. Quaternary Structure: 2 or more polypeptides join.

Foods Containing Proteins: Meats, Poultry, Seafood, Soy, Dairy, Nuts



Lipids: organic molecule made of C, H, & O that is insoluble in water (there is also a much greater than a 2:1 ratio of H:O); they have lots of carbon and hydrogen, yet they have very little oxygen

Functions: long term energy storage, insulation, cell membranes

Monomers: Glycerol and Fatty Acids (Triglyceride: 3 fatty acids and glycerol, which is the backbone)

Two Types of Fatty Acids:

  1. Saturated Fatty Acids: have no double bonds between carbon atoms (unhealthy)
  • Solid at room temperature
  • Fats (lard/butter)
  • Harder for body to break down and are what clogs your arteries
  • "Saturated"- full of hydrogen atoms

2. Unsaturated Fatty Acids: have double bonds between carbon atoms (healthy)

  • Liquid at room temperature
  • Oils
  • Not full of hydrogen, because there are double bonds (C=C; double bond between carbon atoms)


  1. Phospholipids: fat that make up cell membranes (forms bilayer)
  2. Steroids: cholesterol, testosterone, estrogen
  3. Waxes

Foods Containing Lipids: Meats, Dairy, Butter


Nucleic Acids

Nucleic Acids: DNA & RNA and atoms present are Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, Nitrogen, Phosphorus.

Functions: code for the structure & function of cells (code for proteins)

Monomer: Nucleotide

  • contains sugar, phosphate group, & a nitrogen base

DNA: the genetic material (deoxyribonucleic acid)

RNA: the copy of DNA used to make proteins

Big image