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1: Biochemistry Basics

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    Learning objectives

    1. Review basic amino acid structure and determine the functional capabilities of amino acids based on their R-groups.
    2. Review how enzymes catalyze specific reactions essential to a cell and how these reactions have specific chemistry based on the \(K_m\) and \(V_{max}\) of the enzyme.
    3. Determine how the kinetics of an enzyme can be altered by cofactors, coenzymes, inhibitors, and activators.

    This chapter is for reference only and contains basic information on amino acid structure and enzyme regulation. The fundamental building blocks of proteins and enzymes are amino acids. Their unique structures and functional groups allow for specific interactions that can enhance enzyme activity, facilitate folding of individual motifs, and provide stability for the protein structure as a whole. The ability to regulate enzyme activity is an essential component to cellular homeostasis. Enzymes can be regulated by many extrinsic factors that will increase or decrease product production, change enzyme concentration, or change substrate availability. Regardless of the mechanisms of regulation, pathway control will be a recurring component to all biochemistry. It should be noted that the mechanisms discussed here are not fully inclusive but highlight the most commonly used mechanisms of regulation in the biochemical reactions presented in the rest of the content.

    Thumbnail: Grey, Kindred, Chapter 1. 2021. Chemical structure by Henry Jakubowski. CC BY 4.0

    This page titled 1: Biochemistry Basics is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Renee J. LeClair (Virginia Tech Libraries' Open Education Initiative) .

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