BCMB20002 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Unimelb Assignment Answer

This is the assignment sample of BCMB20002 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Unimelb.

This course is an introduction to the field of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, building on 1st-year chemical principles relating molecular structure to biological function.

The content includes a detailed introduction to the structural makeup of life-giving molecules (amino acids, nucleic acids, carbohydrates, and lipids).

Students will learn about protein structures in detail – as well as how it all impacts biology.

From enzyme properties down through your cells proteins are critical for both basic functioning…and more advanced processes such as transcription and translation!

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Assignment Solution Of BCMB20002 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Unimelb.

Assignment Activity 1. Generate and interpret pictorial representations of biomolecules.

Pictorial Representation of Biomolecules:

– ATP molecule stretches over a distance with three phosphate bonds (pink,        blue, purple) pulling apart; the space between them is hydrated. The molecule is bound to cholesterol as it hangs off the inner membrane of a mitochondria

– Ribosome moves along mRNA (green), decoding the genetic code, making amino acids, and spitting out proteins that fold into shapes on their own

– RNA polymerase creates an anti-parallel lobe while transcribing DNA sequence onto mRNA. RNA polymerase contains a “pocket” where ribonucleotide binds during transcription. Picture includes key DNA nucleotides A, G, T, and covalent bond I–>Z

Assignment Activity 2. Analyze nucleic acid and amino acid sequences to predict structural properties and evolutionary relationships.

Analyses of nucleic acid sequences and amino acid sequences have provided powerful evidence that nature can produce enormous diversity in living systems from a limited number of original types.

Nucleic acids are made up of sugar, phosphate, and nitrogen. Amino acids have an amine group with an uncharged organic side group attached to the alpha carbon.

From this observation, one might think that DNA and proteins have the same structural properties. But that is not true. Proteins also possess all of these properties and do not require them for some important function for living cells.

1. The ability to be in solution (DNA concentration of 0.2 M)

2. High affinity for certain organic solvents (DNA <0.01% w/v; DNA is a large molecule that greatly reduces aqueous solvent interactions)

3. Covalent bonding, hydrogen bonding, and van der Waals attractions between different bases (as will be shown later on)

4. Contain three major functional groups: amine, hydroxyl, and carboxyl

5. Have a high melting point- DNA is >80oC; RNAs are 60-70oC depending on whether they are single or double-stranded.

Amino acid sequences can be used to determine the primary structure of proteins.

There are 20 amino acids used in nature; all are carboxylic acids with a polar hydroxyl group attached to the alpha carbon.

The R groups (side chains) project from the main chain and can have either a positive or negative charge, thus giving rise to an ionic bond between the molecule and water.

One must assume that some of these properties have arisen through evolutionary processes in order to give rise to certain functional properties which are vital for life.

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Assignment Task 3. Describe how extracellular signals are transmitted across membranes and become amplified in the cell

Extracellular signals are transmitted across membranes and become amplified in the cell.

This process is called transduction. The signal usually starts at a membrane receptor, which detects molecular changes it is exposed to on either side of the cellular membrane; hence the name “receptor.”

Receptors are made up of proteins, with slight variations in shape so they can interact with different kinds of stimuli (e.g., amino acids on opposite sides of the external cell membrane).

When a stimulus binds to a receptor, it alters its structure slightly and activates its signaling ability.

For example, when one end of a binding site for an amino acid molecule reacts with an amino acid molecule on the other side of the cell membrane, then that can activate a secondary messenger. This sends signals from cell to cell or organelle to organelle in the form of chemical messengers.

Eventually, the signal reaches an end-point at some gene on one of the chromosomes within the nucleus; once there, it can alter that gene’s production of RNA and protein molecules (“transcription”).

Assignment Activity 4. Describe how lipid and protein composition affect the structural and functional properties of biological membranes.

The fundamental structural and functional properties of cells are determined, at least in part, by the lipid and protein composition of their membranes.

The synthesis of phospholipids, cholesterol, and sphingolipids determines the fluidity or rigidity of a bilayer membrane.

Cholesterol makes membranes more rigid while long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids make them more flexible (Gassman et al., 1996).

Ceramide is an important regulator of phosphoinositide signaling pathways that control vesicular traffic – importantly its concentration is modulated by dietary intake

(Choi et al., 2008) – indicating that limiting fat and cholesterol intake has profound consequences for physiological processes.

However, what we eat also changes cellular function. Vitamins are like water but when they are mixed with fat, then they become the oil and can enter the cell membrane.

For example, vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant so it doesn’t act on the cell membrane but when it is eaten with fats (Ascherio et al., 2002), then it becomes more oil-soluble and causes oxidative stress in the cell.

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Assignment Task 5. Compare and contrast cellular energy metabolism under anaerobic and aerobic conditions.

There are two metabolic pathways that generate the energy to drive cellular processes. Aerobic metabolism is a much more efficient process, so it is typically the form of energy production used under normal conditions.

If you don’t have enough glucose (like when you are exercising), your cells can use anaerobic metabolism to make a little bit of ATP.

The process of generating ATP molecules is different in a person’s body. For aerobic metabolism, the molecule of oxygen adds 32 ATP per cycle.

The process for anaerobic usually only generates 2-4 molecules/cycle. Aerobic is better at generating long sequences of ATP molecules where there may not be many bases in between or if they have more complex structures that need intermediate steps in order to generate the final product.

Tissues need oxygen to survive. Aerobic metabolism helps them get oxygen at a higher temperature. This means that tissues prefer carbon dioxide, potassium, chloride, nitrate, and sulfate ions.

Aerobic respiration is when your cells break down glucose into pyruvate. Then, in the presence of NADH and FADH2, it breaks down pyruvate into carbon dioxide and water.

Assignment Activity 6. Predict the changes in the flow of metabolites in response to hormonal regulation and gene mutations.

The change in the flow of metabolites in response to hormonal regulation and gene mutations depends on the type of steroid hormone.

Progesterone will cause your body to use less glucose, but testosterone will make your body use more glucose.

There is new information about how enzymes can cause humans to break down alcohol less efficiently than other animals. A study was done in December 2012 about two genes that help break down ethanol.

One allele led to the loss of function mutation and allowed the accumulation of acetaldehyde. This is an enzyme that has a lot of toxicity.

The other allele reduced enzymatic activity but increased alcohol tolerance because there was less acetaldehyde being produced by this gene mutation.

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