1 Organic Chemistry AP Biology 2015

Organic Chemistry
AP Biology 2015 - 2016
Campbell Biology in Focus: Chapter 3
I. Why is carbon important?
A. Organic chemistry: branch of chemistry that specializes in study of carbon compounds
B. Organic compounds: contain Carbon (& H)
C. Major elements of life: CHNOPS
D. Carbon can form large, complex, and diverse molecules
i. It has 4 valence electrons so it forms 4 covalent bonds
ii. It forms single, double or triple covalent bonds
iii. Carbon forms molecules that have chains, rings and branches
iv. Forms isomers - molecules that have same molecular formula, but differ in atom
different structures → different properties/functions
Cis-Trans Isomer
Structural Isomer
(Geometric Isomer)
Varies in covalent arrangement
Differ in spatial arrangement
Mirror images of molecules
(different forms known as
v. Isomers can have very different biological properties
a. Thalidomide =
“good” enantiomer: reduce morning sickness
“bad” enantiomer: cause massive birth defects
“good” converts to “bad” in patient’s body
Now used to treat cancers, leprosy, HIV
b. Other examples
II. Chemical groups - small groups of atoms commonly found on the hydrocarbon backbone of
biological molecules. If they are involved in chemical reactions, then they are known as functional
A. You need to know:
1. structure of important chemical groups
2. functional properties
B. Important chemical groups