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CBE451 Biochemistry And Metabolic Regulation UITM Assignment Sample Malaysia

The CBE451 Biochemistry and Metabolic Regulation course at UITM Malaysia provides fundamental knowledge essential for understanding bioprocess engineering from a chemical perspective. It focuses on the molecular aspects of life and covers the structure, properties, and metabolic regulation of important biomolecules such as amino acids, proteins, carbohydrates, fatty acids, lipids, nucleotides, and nucleic acids. 

The CBE451 course also includes topics like cell transport, energetics, membrane structure, DNA replication, transcription, translation, regulation of gene expression, and signal transduction

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Assignment Task 1 : Recognize and explain the basic structure of biomolecules in relation to their functional groups.

Biomolecules are essential molecules found in living organisms, and they can be broadly classified into four main types: carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids. Each type of biomolecule has a specific structure, and their functions are closely related to their functional groups.

Carbohydrates:

Carbohydrates are organic compounds composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen in the ratio of 1:2:1. The basic building blocks of carbohydrates are monosaccharides, such as glucose, fructose, and galactose. These monosaccharides are linked together through glycosidic bonds to form disaccharides (e.g., sucrose, lactose) and polysaccharides (e.g., starch, cellulose).

Functional Group:

The functional groups present in carbohydrates are hydroxyl groups (-OH). These groups make carbohydrates polar and water-soluble, making them essential for energy storage (e.g., glycogen) and as structural components (e.g., cellulose) in living organisms.

Lipids: 

Lipids are a diverse group of biomolecules that include fats, oils, phospholipids, and steroids. They are composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen but have a much lower proportion of oxygen compared to carbohydrates. Lipids are hydrophobic and serve various functions, such as energy storage, insulation, and forming the cell membrane.

Functional Group:

 The main functional group in lipids is the fatty acid group, which contains a long hydrocarbon chain with a carboxyl group (-COOH) at one end. This hydrophobic tail makes lipids insoluble in water, while the polar carboxyl group allows them to interact with other molecules.

Proteins:

Proteins are large biomolecules composed of amino acids linked together by peptide bonds. They play crucial roles in cell structure, function, and regulation of biological processes. Proteins have various levels of structure, including primary (sequence of amino acids), secondary (local folding patterns like alpha-helices and beta-sheets), tertiary (3D conformation of the entire protein), and quaternary (arrangement of multiple protein subunits).

Functional Group:

 Proteins contain several functional groups, but the amino group (-NH2) and carboxyl group (-COOH) of amino acids are crucial for peptide bond formation, creating the protein backbone. The R-group (side chain) of each amino acid determines its specific properties and interactions within the protein’s structure.

Nucleic Acids:

 Nucleic acids are responsible for the storage and transmission of genetic information. DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and RNA (ribonucleic acid) are the two main types of nucleic acids. They consist of nucleotides, which are composed of a phosphate group, a sugar molecule (deoxyribose in DNA and ribose in RNA), and a nitrogenous base (adenine, thymine/uracil, guanine, cytosine).

Functional Group: 

The functional group in nucleic acids is the phosphate group (-PO4), which forms the backbone of the nucleic acid chain. The nitrogenous bases determine the genetic code and are involved in base pairing (A-T or A-U, G-C) between DNA strands or during RNA synthesis.

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Assignment Task 2 : Differentiate the synthesis mechanisms of large biomolecules such as proteins, lipids and nucleic acids.

Protein Synthesis (Translation): 

Protein synthesis occurs in two main steps: transcription and translation. During transcription, DNA is used as a template to produce a complementary messenger RNA (mRNA) molecule. This mRNA carries the genetic information from the nucleus to the ribosomes in the cytoplasm.

Next, during translation, the ribosome reads the mRNA sequence and assembles a specific sequence of amino acids based on the codons (triplets of mRNA nucleotides) present on the mRNA. Transfer RNA (tRNA) molecules bring the corresponding amino acids to the ribosome, and peptide bonds form between adjacent amino acids, creating a polypeptide chain. The chain then folds into its specific three-dimensional shape to become a functional protein.

Lipid Synthesis

Lipid synthesis occurs mainly in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and involves different pathways depending on the type of lipid being synthesized.

  • Triglyceride (Neutral Fat) Synthesis: Triglycerides are the most common form of lipid storage. They are synthesized through a process called esterification, where three fatty acids combine with glycerol to form a triglyceride molecule.
  • Phospholipid Synthesis: Phospholipids are major components of cell membranes. They are synthesized in the ER through the addition of two fatty acids to a glycerol backbone along with a phosphate group. This results in a hydrophobic tail (the fatty acid chains) and a hydrophilic head (the phosphate group).

Nucleic Acid Synthesis:

  •  DNA Replication: DNA replication occurs during the cell division process. The double-stranded DNA molecule unwinds, and each strand serves as a template for the synthesis of a complementary strand. Enzymes called DNA polymerases add nucleotides to the growing strand according to the base-pairing rules (A-T, G-C).
  •  RNA Synthesis (Transcription): RNA synthesis, also known as transcription, takes place in the nucleus. The enzyme RNA polymerase reads the DNA template and assembles a complementary mRNA molecule by adding nucleotides in the 5′-3′ direction. Once the mRNA is formed, it is released into the cytoplasm for translation into a protein.

Assignment Task 3 : Predict various metabolic pathways including glycolysis and TCA cycle and explain how they are regulated in the cells.

Glycolysis: 

Glycolysis is a central metabolic pathway that occurs in the cytoplasm and is common to both aerobic and anaerobic metabolism. It involves the breakdown of glucose (a six-carbon sugar) into two molecules of pyruvate (a three-carbon compound), producing a small amount of ATP and NADH in the process.

Regulation:

Glycolysis is tightly regulated at several points to ensure proper energy balance in the cell. Key regulatory points include the enzymes hexokinase/glucokinase, phosphofructokinase, and pyruvate kinase. High levels of ATP and citrate inhibit phosphofructokinase, slowing down glycolysis, while low levels of ATP stimulate it. Pyruvate kinase is inhibited by high levels of ATP and alanine, indicating energy abundance.

TCA Cycle (Citric Acid Cycle or Krebs Cycle):

 The TCA cycle occurs in the mitochondria and is an essential part of aerobic respiration. It involves the complete oxidation of acetyl-CoA, generated from pyruvate, fatty acids, or amino acids, to produce ATP, NADH, FADH2, and carbon dioxide.

Regulation:

The TCA cycle is regulated by feedback inhibition. High levels of ATP and NADH inhibit key regulatory enzymes, such as isocitrate dehydrogenase and alpha-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase, slowing down the cycle when energy levels are sufficient.

These metabolic pathways play crucial roles in energy production and the synthesis of essential biomolecules in cells. The regulation ensures that these pathways are balanced and respond appropriately to the energy needs of the cell.

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