Macromolecules And The Synthesis And Maintenance Of Cells

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Eugenia Winfred Matukeni

There are four main classes of macromolecules which are found in cells. These are lipids, carbohydrates, proteins and nucleic acids. They each play an important role in the synthesis and maintenance of cells.
Lipids are organic compounds such as fats, natural oils, waxes and steroids. They are amphiphilic thus construct structures like vesicles and cell membranes in damp environments. Main functions of lipids are cell signaling, formation of cell membranes and energy storage. (Fahy 2009) There are three main types of lipids found in cells these include fatty acids, phospholipids and steroids. Fatty acids are carboxylic acids with long hydrocarbon chains, they are stored
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(Murray 2006)
Proteins are important as they function as enzymes, which are specific and increase the rate of chemical reactions. They are involved in the metabolism and are involved in the creation production of DNA.(Bairoch 2000) Many proteins are involved in the process of cell signaling and transportation of molecules for example ferritin which gathers iron for storage in the liver is a protein. Antibodies which help to prevent infection, illness are made from protein. They bind antigens and destroy them. Hormones are such as insulin is crucial for the regulation of glucose in the body and parathormone is important for bone remodeling. These hormones are created by proteins in the body. Proteins are important for the development, maintaining and repair of body tissues and are the building blocks for organs, muscles, skin and hair. They make up the cytoskeleton which gives cells their shape and size.
Carbohydrates are biological molecules made up of oxygen, hydrogen and carbon with the general formula (CH2O)n (Solomon 2004). They are classed as monosaccharides, disaccharides, and polysaccharides. Monosaccharides an aldehyde or ketone with many hydroxyl groups added examples include uronic acids and fructose. Disaccharides are formed from monosaccharides through the elimination of water examples include sucrose and lactose. Polysaccharides consist of thousands of different
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