DUE MONDAY, DEC
John YE & Jeremy Jiang
Picture of Baby
Location in body
Serine is an extremely reactive amino acid found in the membranes
lining every cell in the body. It is involved in the metabolic processes
that burn glucose and fatty acids for energy. It is involved in the
making of all four of the A-G-C-T bases of DNA, and it provides
methyl groups involved in the methylation of DNA. This is the
process through which methyl groups stick to
genes and determine whether they are
turned on or off. Methylation of the genes
for type 2 diabetes, for instance, can
cause the individual to stay thin and never
develop the disease.
Location in Body (continue)
The body uses serine to make creatine, which combines with water
to "pump up" muscle mass. Serine is a component of the antibodies
and immunoglobulins that fight infections, and it is a component of
choline, ethanolamine, sarcosine, and phospholipids involved in the
transmission of signals through the nervous system. Serine can be
converted to pyruvate, which enables the muscles and the
liver to release stored glucose from
glycogen. It is also the grandparent
of the oxygen transport molecule
hemoglobin, the compound that
makes blood red and that enables
it to oxygenate the whole body.
Hemoglobin is made from
amino-levulinic acid, which is
made from glycine, which is made
Baby’s Special Talent
The amino acid serine and the amino acid glycine are
interconvertible. When the body needs serine it does not obtain
from the digestion of food,
glycine and threonine, but it has
have enzymes made from three B vitamins,
vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine),
and folic acid. For the brain to use serine to
make the protective compound
phosphatidylserine, it needs the essential
methionine to "work
to cell membranes, and folic acid to complete
the conversion. When there is not
methionine or folic acid for
the synthesis to be
performed, the result,
tells us, can literally
Baby’s Special Talent
One putative gliotransmitter, D-serine is believed to be an
endogenous co-agonist for synaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors
(NMDARs), modulating synaptic transmission and plasticity
mediated by this receptor. The
observation that D-serine levels in the
mammalian brain increase during early
development, suggests a possible role for
this gliotransmitter in normal brain
development and circuit refinement.
The Hydrocyl Amino Acids Family
1. What elements make up your biomolecule?
2. What type of organic compounds is your Biomolecule?
Our baby Serine is made from Carbon, Hydrogen, Nitrogen, and Oxygen.
Serine belongs to protein family.
3. Is your biomolecule a monomer for an organic compound? If so,
what is the name of the subunit (amino acid, monosaccharide,
glycerol/ fatty acid, nucleotide, or carbon rings)?
No, our biomolecule is not a monomer for an organic compound. The
subunit is amino acid.
4. What are the general functions of all compounds in the
family of your biomolecule?
1). Protein is termed the building block of the body because it is
vital in the maintenance of body tissue, including development
2). Protein is a major source of energy, which can be used for
3). Protein is involved in the creation of some hormones, which
helps control body functions that involve the interaction of
4). Enzymes are proteins that increase the rate of chemical
reactions in the body.
5). Protein is a major element in transportation of certain
molecules and also sometimes used to store certain molecules.
6). Protein forms antibodies that help prevent infection, illness
5. Describe two or more functions of your specific biomolecule.
One of the Serine's functions is to help form the phospholipids which are
necessary for creating every cell in the human body.
Second, Serine is also known for assisting in production of immunoglobulins
and antibodies for a healthy immune system, as well as for helping in the
absorption of creatine that helps build and maintain the muscles.
6. List three or more reasons you feel you would make a good parent to the
biomolecule you’re asking to adopt.
Firstly, Serine played an important role in various biosynthetic pathways. It helps an
enzyme catalyze its reaction - the hydrolysis of peptide bonds in polypeptides and
proteins, which is basically a major function in the digestive process. Thus, being a
good parent will help with my digestive process.
Second, Serine is recognized as a non-essential amino acid and is believed to be
important to overall good health, both physical and mental. This amino acid is
particularly essential for proper functioning of your brain and of your central nervous
system. This means I have to be a good parent to take care of Serine so that it will run
my brain function and central nervous system properly.
Third, to create proper conditions for Serine to be produced in the human body, we
may need a sufficient amount of vitamin B and folic acid. But taking into account the
modern Western diet including too much processed convenience food, it may be
harder to obtain it than you realize. Knowing human hard to obtain the Serine also
makes me a good parent to take care Serine.
7. Why did you choose this specific
chose Serine because it’s especially vital to our
human bodies. It helps human digestive process,
running the essential function of brain and
nervous system, also involves in the functioning
of RNA and DNA, in the muscle formation as well
as in the maintenance of a proper immune
The Biology Project. The University of Arizona, n.d. Web. 15 Dec.
Ellen Topness and Demand Media. "6 Primary Functions of
Proteins." SFGate. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2013.