Skip to main content
Biology LibreTexts

BIOCHEMISTRY OVERVIEW: THE HOWS?

The roadmap below shows the topics that we will cover this year, in the approximate order.

0. How is the genetic information carried in DNA transcribed into a RNA molecule? How is this information then translated into a protein? This is the CENTRAL DOGMA AND BIOLOGY!

1. How do lipids aggregate in a thermodynamically spontaneous process to form structures like biological membranes, without which cells and life could not exist?

2. How do proteins fold in a spontaneous, often time catalyzed process, to form structures with a unique 3D shape? How do these specific 3D structures impart a specific function to proteins, the effectors of the genetic blueprint? How do proteins, which are synthesized in the cytoplasm, know where to go?

3. How do proteins form membrane receptors and channels?

4. How do they allow passage of hydrophilic molecules into the cell?

5. How co proteins catalyze and regulate the entire process whereby specific proteins are made? How does a cell know what kind of cell it is to be? How does a cell know what kind of proteins to make?

6. How can protein enzymes catalyze the rates of chemical reaction up to 109X faster than the non-catalyzed rate?

7. How can enzymatic reactions be regulated to meet the demands of the cell for energy and biosynthesis? How are reactions clustered together in pathways? How are whole pathways regulated?

8. What are the organic mechanisms which occur when enzymes catalyze biochemical reactions? How can we probe these mechanism? How can organic molecules, which are thermodynamically unstable in an oxygen environment, be used for catabolic and anabolic reactions in the presence of oxygen?

9. How can the cell sense environmental signals and respond in an appropriate fashion? How can a cell emit chemical signals?

10. How do defects in these pieces of cellular molecular machinery lead to diseases like cancer and cardiovascular disease? How do toxic "substances" like heavy metals, bacterial toxins, viruses, and oxygen effect damage and cause disease?