MACROMOLECULES AND THEIR BUILDING BLOCKS by malj

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									                                                                       SR.BIOCHEM.1C


            MACROMOLECULES AND THEIR BUILDING BLOCKS

There are four main classes of organic macromolecules. Organic macromolecules are
very large carbon-containing chemicals that are found in all living things. They include
carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids.

Macromolecules are made by assembling smaller “building blocks.” (Think of each
building block as an individual railroad car and the macromolecule as the train.) Each of
these building blocks is called a monomer. The macromolecule, which is made up of
many monomers joined together, is called a polymer. Dehydration synthesis is the
chemical reaction that occurs when two or more monomers are joined together. This
reaction involves the removal of water molecules. The reverse reaction, in which a
polymer is broken down into individual monomers, is called hydrolysis. This reaction
involves the addition of water molecules which break the bonds between the monomers.




Answer the following questions based upon the reading above and your knowledge of
organic macromolecules.

   1.      Name the four classes of organic macromolecules.


   2.      Macromolecules are made up of small building blocks called _____________.

   3.      Molecules made up of many monomers linked together are called
           ______________.

   4.      The prefix “mono” means “one.” Why do you think “monomer” is an
           appropriate name for the building blocks of macromolecules?



   5.      The prefix “poly” means “many.” Why do you think “polymer” is an
           appropriate name for a macromolecule?



   6.      The chemical reaction that occurs when monomers are joined is called
           ______________. What occurs during this type of reaction?


   7.      The chemical reaction that occurs when polymers are broken down into
           individual monomers is called ______________. What occurs during this
           type of reaction?


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