BioChemistry - Questons an Answers

BioChemistry - Questons an Answers

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1. Fully explain the role of ATP in the sodium potassium pump.
Sodium potassium pump is a primary active type of cell transport where in it pumps ions against the concentration gradient. In the human cell, sodium and potassium are essential ions in maintaining normal fluid volume moreover it is an important ions that maintains the function of excitable cells such as nerve and muscles cells in transmitting impulses or contracting the muscles. The mechanism is that the sodium potassium pump pumps potassium ions from outside the cells to the inside of the cell while at the same time it pumps sodium ions from inside to outside the cell. Since this type of transport is a transport that pumps ions against the concentration gradient knowing the potassium is more on the inside of the cell while sodium is more on the outside of the cell, transporting these ions against their concentration gradient necessitates an active energy and this type of energy is achieved through the phosphorylation of ATP known as adenosine triphosphate.
ATP basically is being phosphorylated as soon as the ion attaches to the carrier protein on the plasma membrane, the bonds on the phosphate group are broken thereby releasing energy. The energy which was released is used by the carrier protein channel in changing its shape thereby transporting sodium ions from inside to the outside of the cell and potassium ions from outside to the inside of the cell (book p. 73 -74).
2. Would a 2% solution of NaCl cause a red blood cell to crenate (shrink) or swell? Explain your answer.
Osmosis is a type of passive transport where water molecules pass through a selectively permeable membrane from an area of greater concentration to an area of lesser concentration. This is basically achieved because of the random movement of the membrane lipid thereby opening small gaps between the wiggling tails of the lipid bilayer and the transmembrane proteins which are water specific called the aquaporins which allow water molecules to pass through the plasma membrane. Aquaporins are particularly abundant in red blood cells and kidney/tubule cells. The water molecule movement along its concentration gradient depends on the concentration of the solute particles or osmolality on either side of the membrane which decreases the concentration of the water.
To answer the question, a 2% NaCl will cause red blood cell to shrink because the water will move from the inside of RBC to the outside of RBC.

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2% NaCl will decrease the water concentration on the outside of RBC because of the greater osmolality concentration and since there is a lesser water concentration on the outside of RBC, water will move then from the inside of RBC to the outside of the RBC causing the RBC to crenate or shrink (book p. 68-72).
3. How would having a fever affect body processes that involve diffusion? Explain.
Diffusion is a type of passive transport on the plasma membrane where molecules or ions move from an area of greater concentration to an area of lesser concentration. The energy that causes the movement is caused by the intrinsic kinetic energy of the particles which results in the collision of the said particles. The movement or diffusion through the membrane will occur if the molecule is lipid soluble, small enough to pass through the membrane channels or if it is assisted by the carrier molecule. There are two type of diffusion: simple diffusion which are true for Oxygen, CO2 and fat-soluble vitamins transport and facilitated diffusion which utilizes carrier protein and water filled protein channels. Examples of molecules which use this type of passive diffusion are the transport of glucose, amino acids certain ions. The rate of diffusion or movement depends or affected by the size of the particle, the smaller the faster is the rate of movement and by the temperature, the warmer the faster is the diffusion.
To answer the question, a fever then will increase the body processes that involve diffusion since fever causes an increase in body temperature. The greater the temperature the faster is the rate of diffusion (book p. 68-69).
4. On a separate piece of paper; draw and label a cartoon of a biological cell membrane which illustrates the fluid mosaic model of membrane structure. Clearly indicate the phospholipids, the hydrophilic head groups, the lipophilic tails, intrinsic proteins, extrinsic proteins, attached carbohydrates, the cytoplasmic side of the membrane, glycoproteins, glycolipids, and cholesterol.
See attachment.
5. Which characteristic of cell membrane may explain why fat-soluble substances such as chloroform and ether rapidly affect cells? Explain your answer.
The typical cell has three basic parts: Nucleus which controls the activity of the cell; cytoplasm where organelles can be found and biochemical reaction occurs; plasma membrane which defines the extent of the cell. Plasma membrane is sometimes called the cell membrane. It is generally made up of lipids and proteins. Its function is defining the boundary of the cell thereby dividing the ICF (fluid inside the cell) and ECF (fluid outside the cell). This boundary is very important because it defines certain cell functions such as cell signaling and signal transduction, it protects the cell itself and it also provides identity from other cells through the function of glycocalyx.
Discussing the lipid bilayer as one of plasma membrane component is essential because this is the reason why fat soluble substances such as chloroform and ether rapidly affect cells. The lipid bilayer basically is composed of phospholipids which have polar head which is hydrophilic and non-polar tails which are hydrophobic. These phospholipids are arranged it such a way that both hydrophilic heads faces the ECF and ICF while the hydrophobic tails faces each other. This arrangement is important because it provides a dynamic fluid structure, thereby forming the generally spherical shape cell boundaries; furthermore it also prevents the plasma membrane from flip-flopping or moving from phospholipid layer to the other. The other components of lipid bilayer are the glycolipids, cholesterol and lipid rafts which defines the plasma membrane structure and cell signaling function.
The reason why chloroform and ether can rapidly affect the cell this is because of its fats solubility property of plasma membrane. Since the plasma membrane is made up of phospholipids, glycolipids, cholesterol and lipid rafts, the membrane then will allow the passage of fat soluble substances such as chloroform and ether without difficulty since they have identical chemical component which can attach easily to plasma membrane (book p. 63 & 64).
6. Joe had a heart attack. Because of this some of the cardiac cells have died and they are starved for ATP. If a cell could not produce ATP, how would it affect the sodium potassium pumps of the cell? Why would this be important for cardiac muscle in particular?
ATP is a chemical called adenosine triphosphate that temporarily capture some of the food energy in its bonds that later is going to be released when these bonds are broken for the cellular work. Active transporters or solute pumps facilitate diffusion by moving solutes. This activity is performed by the cells using the energy that is in the ATP bonds. The sodium potassium pump uses the energy that subtracts from ATP to move three Na+ ions out of the cell and two k+ ions inside the cell. The activity of the pump is stimulated by attachment of Na+ to the binding site on the inside of the membrane. Consequently, if the cell cannot produce ATP, is unable to use the energy from the ATP production to activate the sodium potassium pumps across the membrane. Since, the cardiac cells are deprived of blood rich in oxygen they are starved to death. This is particularly important for the cardiac muscle since the heart loses its function of pumping blood due sodium potassium is important for muscle contraction(http://www.livescience.com/4011-heart-attacks-strike.html, http://www.ctsnet.org/edmunds/Chapter3section1.html, book p. 24, 66, 69, 70, 73-75, 77, 80-83, 87-90, 94, 96, 104 & 106).
7. How are neurotransmitters, such as acetylcholine, released from the neuron (hint it is a type of cell transport mechanism).
Plasma membrane transport is divided into two general categories. One is the passive transport which includes simple and facilitated diffusion and osmosis. The other one is the active transport which includes primary, secondary and vesicular transport. Vesicular transport is a type of fluid transport which utilizes membranous sac called vesicles. The vesicle being transported across the plasma membrane contains fluid with large particles or macromolecules on it such as hormone or neurotransmitter. One particular type of vesicular transport is exocytosis where the vesicle ejects substances from the inside the cell into the ECF.
The process begins with the membrane bound vesicle migrating to the plasma membrane, then the proteins at the vesicle surface bind with the proteins of the plasma membrane, the vesicle and plasma membrane fuses thereby producing an opened pore which is followed by the release of the vesicle contents. Neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine released from the neuron are transported via the vesicular type of transport specifically exocytosis. As soon as the stimulus arrives at the tip of the neuron, because of the change in the voltage or membrane potential, the release of acetylcholine then occurs at the nerve junction so that stimulus from the other nerve cell can be transmitted to the other nerve cell through the help of acetylcholine(book p. 72 and 77-78).
8. Cramden is an alcoholic. Why would Cramden be expected to have a greater amount of smooth endoplasmic reticulum in his liver than the average person?
The Endoplasmic reticulum is an extensive system of interconnected tubes and parallel membranes enclosing fluid filled cavities called cisternae. This organelle is continuous with nuclear membrane. There two type of ER and these are: Rough ER which is composed of ribosomes, necessary to produce membrane proteins; Smooth ER which are composed of integral proteins acting as: enzymes necessary for lipid metabolism, synthesis of cholesterol, lipid components of lipoproteins and steroid based hormones such as sex hormones; it absorbs, synthesize and transport fats; it detoxifies drugs, certain pesticides, carcinogens in liver and kidneys, and the formation of free glucose thru the breakdown of stored glycogen.
It is expected that Cramden have a greater amount of smooth endoplasmic reticulum in his liver than the average person since he consume a greater amount of alcohol that is a kind of drug. The liver cell needs to increment its endoplasmic reticulum to detoxify the great amount of alcohol entering in his body (book p. 63, 84, 85, 94, 110 & 112).
9. “The proteins present in a plasma membrane determine the functions that a membrane can perform.” Is this statement true or false? Explain your answer.
Plasma membrane components are lipids and proteins. Protein component of the plasma membrane comprises half of the plasma membrane by mass. These proteins are divided into two categories: Integral proteins, proteins which are firmly inserted into the lipid bilayer, some protrude on the membrane surface only and some are transmembrane proteins which protrude on both ends of the plasma membrane. The functions of this type of protein are: acts as channels or pores through which small water soluble molecules or ions pass through thereby bypassing the lipid bilayer; others acts as carriers where substances can bind, moving it across the membrane; others acts as receptors for hormones; lastly some functions as chemical messengers which relays cell messages into the cell (signal transduction)
The other type of plasma membrane protein is the peripheral proteins which attaches loosely on the outer surface of the plasma membrane specifically on the surface of the integral proteins. Its functions are: it supports the membrane from its cytoplasmic side through its filaments formed between the cytoskeleton of the cell and extracellular matrix; others functions as enzymes and motors proteins which changes the cell shape during cell division and muscle cell contraction; lastly some functions as an identity of the cell through the production of the glycocalyx, a sugar rich component of the plasma membrane which are unique in every cell. This component is produced by glycoproteins and glycolipids as well.
To answer the question, the statement is therefore true that the proteins determine the functions of the membrane can perform, depending on the type of proteins present on the plasma membrane, these proteins therefore stimulates the plasma membrane in performing it’s in cell transport , cell identification and interaction, cell signaling and signal transduction(book p. 64-66).
10. If a cell loses or ejects its nucleus, what is its ultimate fate and why? (Hint: the red blood cell ejects its nucleus when it matures)
The nucleus is the organelle generally in the center of the cell that controls the cellular activity. The nucleus can be compared as a group of departments all in one. It performs functions as a computer, a designing department, a construction boss, and a board of directors. Also, perform as a genetic library due it contains all the instructions necessary to build almost all the body of a protein, and indicates the not only the kinds of protein to be used but the amounts that are going to be synthesized at any moment in response to signals inside the cell. All cells inside of our bodies are nucleated with exception of the matured red blood cells.
The matured blood cells eject its own nuclei before entering the blood stream turning at that moment into an anucleate cell. Since the anucleate cells cannot reproduce themselves and produce mRNA to make proteins, after three or fourth start to deteriorate due its enzymes and cell structures cannot be replaced. For this reason, we can conclude that the ultimate fate of a cell that loses or ejects its nucleus is its extinction or disappearance. The debris of the cell is removed by the phagocytes (Book p. 62, 91).

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