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Tutor profile: Agape A.

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Agape A.
Professor of Biochemistry
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Questions

Subject: Biomedical Science

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Question:

How would you treat bipolar disorder using an enzyme inhibitor?

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Agape A.
Answer:

Bipolar disorder is partly caused by an overactive inositol monophosphate pathway, which requires two Magnesium ions to bind in the active site of the enzyme in order for this pathway to ensue. If the enzyme is overactive, an enzyme inhibitor can be used to down-regulate the rate of its function. Here, Lithium supplementation in medically-determined doses would be used. The reason is that the first Magnesium binds in the active site upon substrate binding to the enzyme. The second Magnesium would then bind subsequent to that and allow catalysis to begin. We can introduce Lithium as an uncompetitive inhibitor that would bind in place of the second Magnesium. This would then lock the Enzyme-Substrate complex in place and disallow the reaction from coming to completion.

Subject: Biochemistry

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Question:

How do proteins fold in non-polar environments, such as our lipid membranes?

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Agape A.
Answer:

While typically proteins fold via the hydrophobic effect made conducive by the predominantly polar solvent environment in our bodies, proteins can also fold in nonpolar areas in our bodies, as well. In this case, the driving force for protein folding would not be the large, positive, and favorable entropy change of the polar solvent (i.e. water), but it would be the enthalpic contribution of a predominantly polar peptide able to make better bonds when folded as opposed to unfolded. Here, the enthalpy of the bonds form must be better than those broken, hence folding in nonpolar solvent would require a predominantly polar peptide that is able to make dipole-dipole interactions (i.e. Hydrogen bonds) in the folded state that normally would not exist in the unfolded state.

Subject: Biology

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Question:

What ensures the rapid production of energy in a biological system of higher eukaryotes, such as humans and how is this energy storage accessed and utilized?

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Agape A.
Answer:

Glucose can be metabolized quite rapidly in the human body via the central metabolic pathway, starting with glycolysis and ending with the electron transport chain. Glycogen is the short-term energy storage macromolecule in our bodies and, when in need of immediate glucose, enzymes cleave off individual glucose monomers from glycogen and allow the central metabolic pathway to catabolize glucose and ultimately oxidize all 6 carbons to make energy in the form of ATP.

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