Essay on Water in the Biochemical Process

Essay on Water in the Biochemical Process

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Water is a vital part for the function of organisms, as it is involved in the “energetics” of molecular interactions and conformational adaption of macromolecules in animal and plant cells, due to its structure, flexibility and several unique properties (Rand, 2004).
In an organism’s cell, various types of water are present. They are known as bound, hydration, vicinal and bulk water. 95% of watery body fluid is composed of bulk water, since they function as “space filling medium”, which supports life and creates an aqueous medium for cellular reactions (Watterson, 1987) .
Water as a “space filling medium”, also aid to assemble molecules, hence they can “achieve a configuration of lower free energy” (Rand, 2004).
Water’s effect on the functions of biological molecules, is due to the properties of water; which results from its unique structure and the way this structure allows water to form hydrogen bonds. Water molecules consist of two hydrogen atom and an oxygen atom, joined by a covalent bond. As the oxygen atom is more electronegative than hydrogen atom, it draws the electrons involved in the covalent bond, towards itself. This result in uneven distribution of electrons throughout the molecule, causing polarity within the molecule as the area around the hydrogen is slightly positive and the area around the oxygen is slightly negative. However, these charges are equal, so water molecule has no overall charge (Brooker et al., 2007).
As water is a polar molecule, it is an excellent transport medium, since it can dissolve and interact with a wide range of “polar and charged molecules” (Gerstein & Levitt, 1998), such as, water in the interstitial fluid, dissolves oxygen and carbon dioxide in blood, to be transported around th...


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...in organic media. Glasgow: Springer.
Nelson, D.L., Cox, M.M. and Lehninger, A.L., 2008. Lehninger principles of biochemistry. 5th ed. New York: W.H. Freeman and Company.
Rand, R.P., 2004. Probing the role of water in protein conformation and function. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B-Biological Sciences, 359(1448), pp. 1277-1284.
Schwabe, J.W.R., 1997. The role of water in protein DNA interactions. Current opinion in structural biology, 7 (1), pp. 126-134.
Smith, A.M., Coupland, G., Dolan, L., Harberd, N., Jones, J., Martin, C., Sablowski, R. and Amey, A., 2010. Plant biology. New York: Garland Science; Taylor & Francis distributor.
Taiz, L. and Zeiger, E., 2010. Plant physiology. 5th ed. Sunderland: Sinauer Associates.
Watterson, J.G., 1987. A Role for Water in Cell Structure. Biochemical Journal, 248(2), pp. 615-617.

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