Introduction to biomolecules

Introduction to biomolecules

Biomolecules are the biochemical molecule present in organisms that are essential in different biological processes.

E.g., carbohydrate, fatty acids | cell division, replication

  • Biomolecules include macromolecules such as lipids and carbohydrates, protein.
  • Biomolecules are generally endogenous and exogenous.
  • Endogenous: produced inside the organism.
  • Exogenous: need to be taken such as vitamins.
  • Most of the biomolecules are organic compounds.

What is an organic compound?

  • Organic compounds are the compound that contains Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Often Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Sulfur.
  • Commonly, biomolecules contain four elements: Nitrogen, carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.
  • These elements make up to 96% of the total mass of the human body.
  • Carbon is an essential compound because it can form a long chain and help to form a backbone for biomolecules.

Types of biomolecules

  • Fatty Acid, Sterols, Monosaccharides, Lipids, Vitamins, Metabolites, Nucleic acids
  • Polymers, oligomers, and monomers.


  • These are the building blocks of our body fat.
  • Contain a long aliphatic chain.
  • Fatty acids are of two types

Based on saturation: saturated and unsaturated.

Based on length: SCFA (short-chain fatty acids), MCFA (medium-chain fatty acids), LCFA (long-chain fatty acids)

  • Fatty acid exists as phospholipids, triglycerides, and cholesterol.

Saturated fatty acids:

  • No double bond between carbon.
  • CH3(CH2)nCOOH

Unsaturated fatty acids:

  • Have one or more carbon double bonds C=C.


  • The term derived from French Hydrate de Carbone.
  • Carbohydrates are the organic molecules contain C, H, and O
  • The ratio of hydrogen and oxygen is 2:1 (H2O).
  • Carbohydrates are the chief source of energy for all living things.
  • There are three types of carbohydrate:
  1. Monosaccharides, Disaccharides, and Polysaccharides.
  • Monosaccharides: single sugar compounds e.g., glucose
  • Disaccharide: 2 molecules of simple sugar E.g., maltose
  • Polysaccharide: 3 or more sugars Also known as complex sugar. E.g., Starch


  • Lipids are the organic compounds of C, H, and O but the ratio is not fixed.
  • Fatty acids are the building blocks of lipids.
  • Commonly 3 fatty acids combine with a glycerol molecule and form Triglyceride.
  • Lipids are the long-term source of energy.
  • Lipids help in building cell membranes


  • Proteins are the organic compound consist of C, H, O, and N.
  1. Functioning in:
  • Structural components in the cell.
  • Some proteins work as receptors or messenger.
  • Defend against diseases (antibodies).
  • Acts as a biological catalyst (enzymes) in biochemical reactions.
  • Every enzyme is a protein, but every protein isn’t an enzyme.
  • Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins.
  • An amino acid consists of a center carbon bonded with H, R (alkyl group), amino group, and carboxylic group.
  • Amino acids joined together with a peptide bond to form a macromolecule (polypeptide) or a giant protein.
  • There are nine essential amino acids:

Histidine, isoleucine, methionine, lysine, leucine, phenylalanine, valine, tryptophan, threonine.

  • Non-essential amino acids (11)
  • Arginine, tyrosine, cysteine, glycine, proline, asparagine, glutamine, serine, ornithine, alanine, and aspartate.


  • Nucleic Acids made up of C, H, O, N & P
  • Contains genetic information (parent to progeny).
  • DNA and RNA
  • Consisting of the sugar-phosphate backbone.
  • Nucleoside are the building blocks of Nucleic Acids
  • A nucleoside consists of a phosphate group and a nitrogenous base and 5 carbon ribose sugar.
  • Nitrogenous bases are of two types: Purines and Pyrimidine


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