By Sir C V Raman
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Although these interactions are weak and have a transient existence at physiological temperatures (25–37 ºC), multiple noncovalent interactions can act together to produce highly stable and specific associations between different parts of a large molecule or between different macromolecules. We first review the four main types of noncovalent interactions and then consider their role in the binding of biomolecules to one another and to other molecules. The relative strength of the interaction between two ions, AϪ and Cϩ, depends on the concentration of other ions in a solution.
Nucleoside monophosphates have a single esterified phosphate (see Figure 2-14a); diphosphates contain a pyrophosphate group: O 1Ј H 3Ј O ؊ O O O P ؊ O O P ؊ O Pyrophosphate and triphosphates have a third phosphate. Table 2-2 lists the names of the nucleosides and nucleotides in nucleic acids and the various forms of nucleoside phosphates. The nucleoside triphosphates are used in the synthesis of nucleic acids, which we cover in Chapter 4. Among their other functions in the cell, GTP participates in intracellular signaling and acts as an energy reservoir, particularly in protein synthesis, and ATP, discussed later in this chapter, is the most widely used biological energy carrier.
Interconversion of glucose and mannose or galactose requires the breaking and making of covalent bonds; such reactions are carried out by enzymes called epimerases. The pyranose ring in Figure 2-16a is depicted as planar. In fact, because of the tetrahedral geometry around carbon atoms, the most stable conformation of a pyranose ring has a nonplanar, chairlike shape. , H or O) is either nearly perpendicular to the ring, referred to as axial (a), or nearly in the plane of the ring, referred to as equatorial (e): H a e e O a HO e a HO e H H a 1 H OH H ␣-D-Glucopyranose Pyranoses The enzymes that make the glycosidic bonds linking monosaccharides into polysaccharides are specific for the ␣ or ␤ anomer of one sugar and a particular hydroxyl group on the other.
Aspects of science by Sir C V Raman