Structure and Functions of Organic Compounds



 There are special types of organic molecules called large biological molecules that are important to life. The four types of large biological molecules are:

  1. Carbohydrates
  2. Lipids
  3. Proteins
  4. Nucleic Acids

Three of the four types of large biological molecules can be classified as macromolecules. Macromolecules are polymers (chains of smaller subunits) made up of many smaller molecules, or monomers (subunit molecules that bind together to form polymers). The three types of large biological molecules that are macromolecules are carbohydrates, proteins, and nucleic acids.   


Table 1. Macromolecules and Monomers
Macromolecules Monomer
Carbohydrates Sugars
Nucleic acids Nucleic acids
Proteins Amino acids


The fourth type of large biological molecules are lipids are not considered macromolecules because they are not polymers. Lipids are not true polymers, but are large, complex molecules that are essential to life such as steroids and fats. We will look at lipids in the Lipids section. 


Video 1. Macromolecules (opens Youtube in new window)


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