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Carbon
Ch 4
Chemistry of Life
Organic Chemistry – study of carbon compds
•C atoms are versatile building blocks
•bonding properties…complexity/diversity
to living matter
•4 stable covalent bonds
•p50-51 Fig 4.2, 4.4
Hydrocarbons
•Combinations of C and H
•Non-polar
•Hydrophobic
Methane
•Store lg amts of energy
•stable
•very little attraction between molecules
Variations in C - Skeleton
Isomers
•Same molecular formula but different
structures (shapes)
-different chemical properties and
biological functions
6 carbons
6 carbons
6 carbons
Structural Isomers – differ in arrangements of
atoms
Geometric Isomers – variation in arrangement
about a double bond
Thalidomide
Enantiomers – variation in spatial
Arrangement around an asymmetric
carbon…molecules that are mirror
images
stereoisomers
Functional Groups
• Parts of organic molecules that are involved
in chemical reactions
– give organic molecules distinctive properties
hydroxyl
 carbonyl
 carboxyl

amino
 sulfhydryl
 phosphate

• Affect reactivity
– makes hydrocarbons hydrophilic
– increase solubility in water
Why do Functional Groups Matter?
• Basic structure of male & female hormones
is identical
– identical carbon skeleton
– attachment of different functional groups
– interact with different targets in the body
• different effects
Hydroxyl
• –OH = alcohols
– names typically end in -ol
• ethanol
Carbonyl
• C=O
• if C=O at end molecule = aldehyde
• if C=O in middle of molecule = ketone
• Emma is awesome
Carboxyl
• –COOH
• compounds with COOH = acids
– fatty acids
– amino acids
Amino
• -NH2
• compounds with NH2 = amines
– amino acids
• NH2 acts as base
– ammonia picks up H+ from solution
Sulfhydryl
• –SH
• compounds with SH = thiols
• SH groups stabilize the structure of proteins
Phosphate
• –PO4
• connects to C through an O
• lots of O = lots of negative charge
– highly reactive
• transfers energy between organic molecules
– ATP, GTP, etc.
Functional Groups
Excellent Flash Tutorial
http://telstar.ote.cmu.edu/biology/supplements/functional-group/