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Tutor profile: Calum D.

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Calum D.
Computational Biochemistry researcher in Paris
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Questions

Subject: Organic Chemistry

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Question:

Describe the reaction mechanism of esterification.

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Calum D.
Answer:

Esterification occurs between an alcohol and a carboxylic acid in the presence of a proton donating acid, commonly sulphuric acid. Proton addition to the carbonyl oxygen leads to a reactive, electrophilic carbocation system that is stabilised by the presence of two neighbouring oxygen atoms that are able to donate electron density. The carbon atom undergoes a nucleophilic attack by the alcohol oxygen atom generating a tetrahedral intermediate. The oxonium ion of the former alcohol is deprotonated and one of the equivalent hydroxyl groups gains a proton to create a new oxonium ion. Elimination of the oxonium ion as water and deprotonation of the other hydroxyl group to form a carbonyl group results in the ester.

Subject: Biochemistry

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Question:

Describe the mechanism for allosteric inhibition

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Calum D.
Answer:

Allosteric inhibition relies on the binding of an inhibitor away from the substrate binding site at an allosteric binding site. The binding of the inhibitor alters the shape of the substrate binding pocket preventing binding and catalysis of the substrate. The rate of reaction of a solution of enzymes that are allosterically inhibited will always be lower than the rate of reaction on an uninhibited enzymatic solution regardless of the concentration of substrate as allosteric inhibition does not compete with substrate to occupy the binding pocket but binds away from the pocket at the allosteric binding site.

Subject: Biology

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Question:

How does the structure of the Golgi apparatus relate to its function in the cell?

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Calum D.
Answer:

The Golgi apparatus is an organelle that processes proteins and packages them for export from the cell. The structure of the Golgi, a series of flat membrane enclosed vesicles, allows for the modification and packaging of proteins by maintaining a separate chemical environment that is more similar to the exterior of the cell and hosting modification enzymes on its membrane that can add sugars and lipids to proteins. The Golgi is also polar, with a cis and a trans face. This allows proteins to pass through it in a conveyor belt fashion, acquiring modifications as it passes through the Golgi, allowing for the development of highly complex modifications.

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