The Importance Of Hydrogen Bonding In Biology

338 Words2 Pages
The importance of hydrogen bonding in biology Hydrogen bonds are extremely important in biological systems. Their presence explains many of the properties of water. They are used to stabilize and determine the structure of large macromolecules like proteins and nucleic acids. They are involved in the mechanism of enzyme catalysis. Properties of Water Property | Importance | Examples | Solvent | Metabolic processes in all organisms rely on chemicals being able to react together in solution. | 70-95% of cytoplasm is water. Dissolved chemicals take part in processes such as respiration and photosynthesis in living organisms. | Liquid | The movement of material around organisms both in cells and on a large scale in multicellular organisms requires a liquid transport medium. | Blood in animals and the vascular tissues in plants use water as a liquid transport medium. | Cohesion | Water molecules stick to each other creating surface tension at the water surface. | Some small organisms make use of surface tension to “walk on water”.Transport of water in the xylem relies on water molecules sticking together as they are pulled up the xylem in the transpiration stream. | Freezing | Water freezes forming ice on the surface. Water beneath the surface becomes insulated and less likely to freeze. | Lakes tend not to freeze completely so aquatic organisms aren’t killed as temperatures fall. | Thermal Stability | Large bodies of water have fairly constant temperatures.Evaporation of water can cool surfaces by removing heat. | Oceans provide a relatively stable environment in terms of temperature.Many land-based organisms use evaporation as a cooling mechanism, for example in panting or sweating. | Metabolic | Water takes part as a reactant in some chemical processes. | Water molecules are used in hydrolysis reactions and in the process photosynthesis. |

More about The Importance Of Hydrogen Bonding In Biology

Open Document