Organic Chemistry – Carbon Chemistry and Macromolecules

See also Biochemistry
Carbon Chemistry
  • Organic chemistry is the study of all compounds that contain bonds between Carbon atoms.
  • Four major elements that are found in biological organic compounds are:
Carbon, Oxygen, Hydrogen, Nitrogen, Sulfur, and Phosphorus


Lewis Dot Structure and the Structual Formula for a carbon atom

How many bonds can carbon make with other atoms? FOUR

Importance of CarbonEdit

  1. Carbon can make 4 covalent bonds with other atoms. This makes it flexible; it can bond with many elements.
  2. A carbon atom can bond with another carbon atom to create long carbon chains/carbon ring structures.

Carbon atoms bonded to hydrogen atoms are known as Hydrocarbons, an example is Methane.


Monomers and Polymers Puzzle comparison
  • What is a macromolecule?
A giant molecule made from 100 to 1,000 of smaller molecules.
  • What are macromolecules made up of?
  • What is polymerization?
When monomer ions join together to form polymers
  • What is dehydration synthesis?
When a water molecule is removed to join 2 monomers together.
  • What is hydrolysis?
When a water molecule is split to break bonds between monomers.

Monomer for each MacromoleculeEdit

Four major macromoleculesEdit

What are the four major macromolecules in living things?
Macromolecule Example
Carbohydrates Sugar
Lipids Vegetable Oil
Proteins Beef
Nucleic Acids DNA


Glucose - A carbohydrate that is beneficial to plants
  • What is a carbohydrate?
Compounds made up of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms. These are usually combined in a ratio of 1, 2, 1.
  • Why are they important in living things?
Short-Term Energy Use and carbohydrates serve as a structure in organisms... EX: Chitin in exoskeleton of athropods.
  • What are monomers for carbohydrates known as?
  • What are the three monosaccharides for carbohydrates?
  • Monosaccharides bond together to form chains of polysaccharides.
    • EX: Glycogen1, Cellulose2, Chitin3

How much energy is in 1 gram of carbohydrates? 4 CALORIES


  1. Glycogen is a carbohydrate storage in animals.
  2. Cellulose is a carbohydrate in cell walls of plants.
  3. Chitin is a carbohydrate in the cell walls of bacteria and fungi


  • What are lipids?
Macromolecules that are generally not soluble in water. They are composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.
  • What makes up a lipid monomer?
Glycerol and Fatty Acid Chains

Importance of LipidsEdit

Crocodile Oil
  1. Long-term energy storage
  2. Protection/Insulation
  3. Membrane Structure
  4. Acting as a chemical messenger
Lipid Polymers
  • Fats - Come from animals and is solid at room temperature.
  • Oils - Come from plants and stays liquid at room temperature.
  • Waxes - Come from bees.

Satured and Unsaturated Fatty AcidsEdit

1. What is a saturated fatty acid?

When there are only single bonds between all carbon atoms in the fatty acid chains of a lipid.

2. What is an unsaturated fatty acid?

When there are double and triple bonds between carbon atoms in a fatty acid chain.

How much energy in 1 gram of lipid? 9 CALORIES

Look at the bonds in the saturated and unsaturated fatty acids

Nucleic AcidsEdit

A nucleotide
  • Nucleic acids are macromolecules that contain the following elements
  1. Carbon
  2. Hydrogen
  3. Oxygen
  4. Nitrogen
  5. Phosphorus
The monomers for nucleic acids are called...
  • Nucleotides
Three components of a nucleic acid nucleotide are
  1. Phosphate group
  2. 5-carbon sugar
  3. Nitrogenous Base
Nucleotides will bond together to form...
  • Nucleic Acids
The main function of nucleic acids is to...
  • Store and transmit genetic information
Two kinds of nucleic acids are
  1. DNA
  2. RNA


Take note: Amino group on the left, Carboxyl group on the right, and the special "R" group
  • Proteins are macromolecules that contain the following elements:
  1. Carbon
  2. Hydrogen
  3. Oxygen
  4. Nitrogen
  • The monomers for proteins are called amino acids.
  • The general structure of an amino acid is:
All amino acids have an amino group and a carboxyl group
The R group distinguishes one amino acid from another
There are a total of 20 amino acids
  • Amino acids are bonded together through peptide bonds to form protein--or polypeptide chains.



Proteins are joined together in up to four different levels of organization.

  • Polypeptide chain of amino acids.
  • Polypeptide chain can twist (helix) or fold (sheets) due to weak bonds between amino acids.
  • Polypeptide chain as whole twists and folds.
  • Multiple chains are arranged into a complex protein (2-4 polypeptide chains grouped together).


  1. Structural components in cells
  2. Regulate cell processes and chemical reactions
  3. Transport substances across the cell membrane
  4. Act as receptors to certain compounds