Macromolecules Essay Example

  • Category:
    Biology
  • Document type:
    Essay
  • Level:
    Undergraduate
  • Page:
    1
  • Words:
    702

Macromolecules

Food contains different macromolecules which are the main nutritious component the body absorbs from all food consume once the food gets digested. The macromolecules include including carbohydrates, proteins, lipids and nucleic acids, all of which are macromolecules. A macromolecule is a large molecule mainly formed through polymerization of smaller subunits (Tortora & Derrickson, 2009). The macromolecules play different functions in the body. This essay will focus on the carbohydrate macromolecule, give examples of the macromolecule explore their structures and the functions or roles the play in cellular respiration. It will also explore the parts of cytoanatomy or cellular organelles in which the macromolecules play a vital role.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the most abundant macromolecules on earth, and they are a source of image energy for living organisms. They are also important in defining cell walls or structure of cells and other living organisms. Carbohydrates have complex chemical structures which lead their classification into three types. These are Monosaccharide, disaccharides and polysaccharides (Preiss, 2014). This essay explores two examples of carbohydrates macromolecules monosaccharides and polysaccharides. Monosaccharides or simple sugars consist of one molecule. The molecule contains many OH functional groups. An example of a monosaccharide is glucose whose structure is C6H12O6. The monosaccharide also contains ketone and aldehyde as functional groups. Monosaccharides such as glucose are usually metabolized inside cells to generate chemical energy for the cells (Martini, Nath & Bartholomew, 2012). Monosaccharides may also be found inside other macromolecules, for instance in the nucleic acid. Polysaccharides, on the other hand, a made up by chains of sugars which are joined and stored in inside living cells to be used in gutter to generate energy. The polysaccharides are stored as glycogen and starch in animals and plants respectively. They may also be stored as cellulose in plant, which the most abundant carbohydrate macromolecule

Use in cellular respiration

Monosaccharide such glucose is usually available for metabolism in the cells. On the other hand, polysaccharides such as glycogen are stored in the liver and is only broken down into monomers or glucose and released into the blood stream during starvation. Cellular respiration undergoes a number of phases in the breakdown of carbohydrates into usable energy, one of the phases being glycolysis which takes place in the cytoplasm (the gel in the cell in which organelles float). During glycolysis, glucose is broken down into two pyruvate molecules, a three-carbon sugar, as the main product, then two molecules of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and two NADH molecules. Cells break down carbohydrates in their cytoplasm to release energy, which is used to combine adenosine diphosphate (ADP) and phosphate ions to form ATP, which is then be used in cellular processes that require energy. Another process is the citric acid process, where oxidation of the pyruvate formed during glycolysis is done to make it acetyl-coenzyme A. To aid all these processes, electrons, which are released from carbohydrate molecules, are transported by mitochondria in the cells from one body part to another. Mitochondria convert energy into usable forms in cells, and they need carbohydrates as fuel during this process (Tobin & Dusheck, 2005).

The macromolecule in cytoanatomy and other cell components

The carbohydrates macromolecules form an important part of cells. Monosaccharide such as glucose and sugar are found in the blood of animals. They are also found in cells where they are used to generate energy. They also contribute to parts of nucleic acid which is a major component of cells. Polysaccharides like glycogen, on the other hand, are stored in the liver. They are stored for future use. In plants, it is stored as starch in cells only broken down during spring time for to provide energy for regeneration. Polysaccharides in form of cellulose are used in plants to for formation of cell walls to help give the cells their structure and support the plant.

References

Martini, F., Nath, J. & Bartholomew, E. (2012). Fundamentals of Anatomy and Physiology (9th ed.). California: Pearson Education.

Preiss, J. (2014). The Biochemistry of plants: A comprehensive treatise. New York: Academic Press.

Tobin, A. J., & Dusheck, J. (2005). Asking about life. Belmont, Calif: Brooks/Cole.

Tortora, G.J. & Derrickson, B. (2009). Principles of Anatomy and Physiology (12th ed.). New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.