Cell Chemistry

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Cell Chemistry

Cell Chemistry


All living organisms, from microbes to mammals, are composed of chemical substances from both the inorganic and organic world, that appear in roughly the same proportions, and perform the same general tasks. Hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, phosphorus, and sulfur normally make up more than 99% of the mass of living cells, and when combined in various ways, form virtually all known organic biomolecules. They are initially utilized in the synthesis of a small number of building blocks that are, in turn, used in the construction of a vast array of vital macromolecules.

There are four general classes of macromolecules within living cells: nucleic acids, proteins, polysaccharides, and lipids. These compounds, which have molecular weights ranging from 1 x 103 to 1 x 106 , are created through polymerization of building blocks that have molecular weights in the range of 50 to 150. Although subtle differences do exist between cells (e.g., erythrocyte, liver, muscle or fat cell), they all generally contain a greater variety of proteins than any other type of macromolecule, with about 50% of the solid matter of the cell being protein (15% on a wetweight basis). Cells generally contain many more protein molecules than DNA molecules, yet DNA is typically the largest biomolecule in the cell. About 99% of cellular molecules are water molecules, with water normally accounting for approximately 70% of the total wet-weight of the cell. Although water is obviously important to the vitality of all living cells, the bulk of our attention is usually focused on the other 1% of biomolecules.


The substrate was obtained by soaking 50.0 g of raw split green peas in 100 mL of deionized water for 12 hours. Solutions were kept in a constant temperature bath for 30 minutes before 10 microliters of BeanoR were added. The ...