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Essential Concepts

Charles C. Hardin and James A. Knopp

Publication Date - June 2012

ISBN: 9780199765621

336 pages
8-1/2 x 11 inches

In Stock

A concise guide to biochemistry concepts


One-semester biochemistry courses are notorious for overwhelming students with the magnitude of material covered in their texts and lectures. Biochemistry: Essential Concepts distills the basic ideas covered in a one-semester course without the extraneous details that burden most texts.

Authors Charles Hardin and James Knopp demonstrate the core concepts of biochemistry--including cell biology, amino acids, metabolism, and DNA--in a variety of real-world contexts. With the last forty percent of the text devoted to review questions and practice tests, Biochemistry: Essential Concepts equips students for success in the one-semester biochemistry course and prepares them for their future studies and careers.


  • A concise, clear format that summarizes the essential information in a standard biochemistry textbook.
  • Review Sessions and Practice Exams aid the development of a sound foundation through the application of concepts.
  • Reiteration of core concepts shows students that the same fundamental principles govern many aspects of biological processes.
  • Real-world applied examples edify a student's understanding of medicinal biochemistry and serve the needs and interests of pre-professional students.


"Biochemistry: Essential Concepts fills an important void in the repertoire of biochemistry textbooks. As a supplement it is perfect!"--Ales Vancura, St. John's University

"An excellent supplement to traditional one-semester biochemistry texts. It distills the essential elements of biochemistry into short segments, allowing students to get the major points without getting bogged down."--Christine Hrycyna, Purdue University

"I am certain that my students will benefit greatly from having Biochemistry: Essential Concepts as a study guide."--S. Madhavan, University of Nebraska Lincoln

Table of Contents


    Chapter 1. Biochemistry: Subject Overview
    1.1 Central Themes
    1.2 Central Dogma of Molecular Biology

    Chapter 2. Cell Biology Review
    2.1 The Animal Cell
    2.2 The Plant Cell
    2.3 Selected Organelles
    2.4 The Cell Cycle: Mitotic Cell Division
    2.5 Viruses

    Chapter 3. Chemistry Review
    3.1 Organic Compounds
    3.2 Chirality
    3.3 Chemical Reactions
    3.4 Physical Chemistry Concepts
    3.5 Buffering of Blood: The Bicarbonate System

    Chapter 4. Amino Acids
    4.1 Basic Structures
    4.2 Amino Acid 'R Groups'
    4.3 Ionization Properties
    4.4 Drawing Peptide Titration Plots
    4.5 Factors That Influence the pKa of Protonatable/Deprotonatable Groups in Proteins

    Chapter 5. Proteins
    5.1 Peptide Bonds
    5.2 Purification and Characterization of Proteins

    Chapter 6. Protein Structure
    6.1 Conformation
    6.2 Classification of Substructure
    6.3 Alpha Helices
    6.4 Beta Sheets
    6.5 U-Turns
    6.6 Ramachandran Plot
    6.7 Stabilizing Factors
    6.8 Thermodynamics of Protein Folding: The Hydrophobic Effect
    6.8.1 Temperature-Dependent Denaturation
    6.9 Chaotropes and the Hofmeister Series
    6.10 Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate (SDS): Chaotrope Action
    6.11 Visualizing the Energy Landscape
    6.12 Protein Maturation

    Chapter 7. Ligand Binding and Functional Control
    7.1 Oxygen Transport in Blood
    7.2 Hemoglobin Oxygen Binding: Cooperativity
    7.3 Antibodies: Immunological Recognition

    Chapter 8. Enzymes
    8.1 Enzymes Are Biological Catalysts
    8.2 Enzyme Function: Activity Assays and Enzyme Kinetics
    8.3 Requirements for Catalysis
    8.4 Comparing Enzymes and Relative Efficiency of Use of Substrates
    8.5 Drug Design
    8.6 Enzyme Inhibitors
    8.7 Allosterism
    8.8 Phosphorylation and Dephosphorylation

    Chapter 9. Metabolic Enzyme Action
    9.1 Enzyme Mechanisms
    9.2 Modes of Catalysis
    9.3 The Reaction Coordinate
    9.4 Induced Fit Revisited
    9.5 Acid-Base Catalysis
    9.6 Covalent Group Transfer
    9.7 The Serine Protease Catalytic Triad Mechanism
    9.8 The Active Site of Tyrosyl-tRNA Synthetase

    Chapter 10. Coenzymes
    10.1 Classification
    10.2 Survey of the Coenzymes
    10.3 Metals
    10.4. Carbohydrates-Based Cofactors
    10.5 Fat Soluble Vitamins

    Chapter 11. Carbohydrates and Glycoconjugates
    11.1 Carbohydrates: Definition
    11.2 Monosaccharides: Aldoses
    11.3 Monosaccharides: Ketoses
    11.4 Structural Features
    11.5 Intramolecular Cyclization
    11.6 Conformations: Sugar Puckers
    11.7 Sugar Derivatives
    11.8 Disaccharides
    11.9 Polysaccharides
    11.10 Carbohydrate-Protein Conjugates
    11.11 Synthesis and Structural Characterization

    Chapter 12. Lipids
    12.1 Structural Overview
    12.2 Saturated and Unsaturated Fatty Acids
    12.3 Functions
    12.4 Diacylglycerol Lipid Derivatives
    12.5 Structural Motifs
    12.6 Assembly
    12.7 Structural and Dynamic Characterization
    12.8 Eicosanoids
    12.9 Phospholipases
    12.10 Phosphoinositides
    12.11 Steroids
    12.12 A Potpourri of Lipids

    Chapter 13. Membranes
    13.1 The Fluid Mosaic Model
    13.2 Detergents
    13.3 Distribution of Lipids in Biological Membranes
    13.4 The Hydropathicity Scale
    13.5 Lipid-Anchored Membrane Proteins
    13.6 The Erythrocyte Cytoskeleton

    Chapter 14. Transport Through Membranes
    14.1 The Transmembrane Potential
    14.2 Active Transport
    14.3 Ionophores
    14.4 The Acetylcholine Receptor Ion Channel
    14.5 Lactose Permease and Secondary Active Transport
    14.6 Mechanism of Transport by Na+, K+ ATPase
    14.7 Ion Channel Blockers

    Chapter 15. Signal Transduction
    15.1 Signaling Pathways: Hormones, GTPases, Second Messengers, and Intracellular Regulation
    15.2 The Adenylate Cyclase Signaling Pathway
    15.3 The Inositol-Phospholipid Signaling Pathway
    15.4 Phorbol Myristyl Acetate
    15.5 The Insulin Receptor
    15.6 Glucagon
    15.7 G-Proteins

    Chapter 16. Nucleic Acids: DNA
    16.1 DNA and RNA
    16.2 Physical Properties
    16.3 Secondary Structure
    16.4 Backbone Structure
    16.5 Counterions
    16.6 Chemical Synthesis
    16.7 Watson-Crick Base Pairs
    16.8 Structural Modifications
    16.9 Three-Dimensional Structures
    16.10 Recognition of Sequences
    16.11 Genetic Mutations and Antisense Nucleic Acids
    16.12 Unusual DNA
    16.13 Stabilization of Nucleic Acids
    16.14 Secondary Structure Predictions
    16.15 Chromosomes
    16.16 Some Protein Nucleic Acid Binding Motifs
    16.17 Recombination

    Chapter 17. RNA
    17.1 Cells Contain a Variety of Types of RNA
    17.2 RNAs Have Stable Secondary Structure
    17.3 Tertiary Structure: Transfer RNA
    17.4 Messenger RNA (mRNA)
    17.5 Eukaryotic Messenger RNA
    17.6 Alkaline Hydrolysis of RNA
    17.7 Small Interfering RNA

    Chapter 18. Biotechnology
    18.1 Restriction Endonucleases
    18.2 Cloning in a Nutshell
    18.3 DNA Preparation: Phenol-Chloroform Extraction
    18.4 Polymerase Chain Reaction
    18.5 Probe DNA

    Chapter 19. Metabolism
    19.1 Overview
    19.2 Metabolic Pathway Types
    19.3 Energy Conservation
    19.4 Key Pathways/Reactions

    Chapter 20. Bioenergetics
    20.1 Reaction Equilibria: Standard and Actual Free Energies
    20.2 Metabolically Irreversible and Near Equilibrium Reactions
    20.3 Energies and Regulation of Glycolysis

    Chapter 21. Bioelectrochemistry
    21.1 Redox Reaction Principles
    21.2 Redox Energetics: The Nernst Equation
    21.3 Electron Transport Chains

    Chapter 22. Glycolysis
    22.1 Reactions 1 through 10
    22.2 Regulation: Activation and Inhibition
    22.3 Four Fates of Pyruvate

    Chapter 23. The Krebs Cycle
    23.1 Pathway
    23.2 Reactions
    23.3 Yields
    23.4 Cellular Redox Potential
    23.5 Regulation

    Chapter 24. Gluconeogenesis
    24.1 Reactions
    24.2 Regulation
    24.3 Sources Used to Produce Glucose

    Chapter 25. Electron Transport and Oxidative Phosphorylation
    25.1 Mitochondria in Red and White Muscle
    25.2 Overall Process
    25.3 Chemical and Potential Energies That Drive Proton Transport
    25.4 Mitochondrial Electron Transport
    25.5 Electron Transfer and Proton Flow in Complexes I through IV
    25.6 Oxidative Phosphorylation

    Chapter 26. The Malate-Aspartate Shuttle and Proteomics
    26.1 Getting NADH into the Mitochondrion: Isozymes
    26.2 Isozymes and Proteomics
    26.3 Characterization by Two-dimensional Gel Electrophoresis
    26.4 Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics

    Chapter 27. Degradation and Synthesis of Lipids
    27.1 Beta Oxidation of Saturated Fatty Acids
    27.2 Biosynthesis of Fatty Acids
    27.3 Length Determination of Fatty Acids
    27.4 Synthesis of Acidic Phospholipids
    27.5 Cholesterol Biosynthesis
    27.6 Regulating Cholesterol Levels

    Chapter 28. Photosynthesis
    28.1 Light and Dark Reactions
    28.2 Photo-Gathering Pigments
    28.3 Photosynthetic Electron Transport Pathway (Z Scheme)

    Chapter 29. The Calvin Cycle
    29.1 The Dark Reactions: Carbon Fixation
    29.2 Biosynthesis of Ribose-5-phosphate
    29.3 RuBisCO Mechanism
    29.4 The C4 and CAM Pathways

    Chapter 30. The Urea Cycle
    30.1 Purpose and Reactions
    30.2 Regulation
    30.3 Comparative Nitrogen Excretion
    30.4 Protein Degradation and Programmed Cell Death


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