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Semester 1

Biomacromolecules Level 10 (CHEM10051)







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Course Summary

Proteins and DNA are amongst the most sophisticated and versatile molecules on Earth. Covering the synthesis, chemistry, structure and function of biomacromolecues, this course consists of lectures, tutorials and two workshops. The course will teach how biological polymers are constructed from simple building blocks and folded into three-dimensional structures. The ability of biomacromolecules to specifically recognise other atoms and molecules, interacting and cooperating to build complexes with diverse affinities and on a range of timescales, will be discussed. Chemical complexity and functional capabilities arising from prosthetic groups, cofactors, metal ions and post-translational modifications will be described as will the ability of proteins to act, for example as molecular wires and biological catalysts.

Course Description

The course consists of a series of modules on the following topics: amino acids and the chemistry, folding, structure and function of proteins; RNA and DNA structures and properties and the encoding and retrieval of genetic information; protein-nucleic acid interactions as exemplars of molecular recognition; the synthesis of proteins on the ribosome, and their recombinant production and purification in the laboratory; proteins that bind metal ions, their role in living systems and bioinorganic chemistry; proteins that can be reduced or oxidised, redox potentials and cellular electrochemistry; and proteins in action as sequential catalysts in synthetic pathways of natural products.The course emphasises, how three-dimensional structure illuminates the understanding of mechanism and how "form follows function".

Assessment Information

Written Exam 100%, Coursework 0%, Practical Exam 0%

Additional Assessment Information

One 3 hour exam.

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