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The Important Role Of Hydrogen Bonds

930 words - 4 pages

The Important Role of Hydrogen BondsHydrogen bonds are pretty much everywhere you go. You can't see them with the naked eye, but they have an important role in several biological structures that help sustain the life we know. In this paper I will define the hydrogen bond and explain the important role it has with the structure of DNA, the shape of proteins in the secondary and tertiary levels of protein structure, the unique properties of water and the cohesion-adhesion theory of transport in vascular plants.A hydrogen bond is one of three types of chemical bonds that occur between molecules. This bond comes as a result of dipole-dipole interaction; when one polar molecule with a partial positive charge is attracted to another polar molecule with a partial negative charge.Hydrogen bonding occurs when a hydrogen donor, a hydrogen atom bonded to a strong electronegative atom (usually N, O or F), exists in the same area as a hydrogen acceptor, an electronegative atom with a lone pair of electrons (usually N, O or F, as well). The hydrogen atom covalently bonded to an electronegative molecule produces the partial positive charge and the electronegative atom with a lone pair of electrons produces the partial negative charge.This bond can either be intermolecular, between two like or unlike molecules, or intramolecular, within a single molecule, when the molecular geometry is favorable. These bonds tend to be stronger than ordinary dipole-dipole attractions but weaker than covalent and ionic bonds.Hydrogen bonding is important to several biological processes to include the structure of DNA, the unique properties of water, the secondary and tertiary structures of protein, and the water transport system of plants.Deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, is a macromolecule known as a nucleic acid. This molecule has been referred to as the blueprint of life because it's responsible for transmitting genetic information, giving the instructions. The double stranded structure of DNA forms a double helix shape like a long twisted or coiled latter. The backbone or sides of the ladder are made up of sugar phosphate molecules with a nitrogenous base that are connected by a hydrogen bond to form opposite base pairs, making the steps of the ladder.The hydrogen bond secures the double helix structure in DNA, bringing stability to the molecule. Without these bonds DNA might exist in a plasma form or be naked, giving rise to a higher probability of genetic variations and disruptions.Like DNA, hydrogen bonding also plays a unique role in the structure of proteins. These proteins, made up of amino acids are considered the building blocks of life. The structure of each protein helps determine the particular function or job that a particular protein does.There are four levels of protein structure. The hydrogen bond plays a large role in the second structure and a small part in the third. The primary structure is a series of amino acids linked...

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