Learning Objectives

By the end of this section, girlfriend will be able to do the following:

Understand macromolecule synthesisExplain dehydration (or condensation) and also hydrolysis reactions

As did you do it learned, organic macromolecules are large molecules, essential for life, that are developed from smaller sized organic molecules. There space four significant biological macromolecule great (carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and also nucleic acids). Every is crucial cell component and also performs a large array that functions. Combined, these molecules consist of the bulk of a cell’s dried mass (recall that water provides up the bulk of its complete mass). Organic macromolecules room organic, definition they contain carbon. In addition, they may contain hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and added minor elements.

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Dehydration Synthesis

Most macromolecules space made from single subunits, or structure blocks, called monomers. The monomers combine with each other using covalent binding to kind larger molecules well-known as polymers. In act so, monomers release water molecules together byproducts. This form of reaction is dehydration synthesis, which method “to placed together while shedding water.”

In the dehydration synthesis reaction above, two glucose molecules attach to kind the disaccharide maltose. In the process, it develops a water molecule.


Dehydration and hydrolysis reactions room catalyzed, or “sped up,” by specific enzymes; dehydration reaction involve the formation of brand-new bonds, inquiry energy, if hydrolysis reactions rest bonds and release energy. This reactions are comparable for many macromolecules, however each monomer and also polymer reaction is particular for that is class. Because that example, catalytic enzyme in the digestive device hydrolyze or failure the food us ingest right into smaller molecules. This allows cells in our human body to conveniently absorb nutrients in the intestine. A details enzyme breaks down each macromolecule. For instance, amylase, sucrase, lactase, or maltase break down carbohydrates. Enzymes called proteases, such as pepsin and peptidase, and hydrochloric acid breakdown proteins. Lipases failure lipids. These broken down macromolecules administer energy for cellular activities.

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Section Summary

Proteins, carbohydrates, nucleic acids, and also lipids space the four significant classes of biological macromolecules—large molecules necessary for life that are developed from smaller sized organic molecules. Macromolecules are consisted of of solitary units scientists contact monomers that room joined by covalent binding to form larger polymers. The polymer is an ext than the amount of the parts: that acquires brand-new characteristics, and leads come an osmotic pressure that is much reduced than that created by the ingredients. This is an essential advantage in maintaining cellular osmotic conditions. A monomer join with another monomer v water molecule release, leading to a covalent shortcut forming. Scientists speak to these dehydration or condensation reactions. As soon as polymers failure into smaller units (monomers), they use a water molecule because that each bond broken by this reactions. Such reactions room hydrolysis reactions. Dehydration and also hydrolysis reactions are comparable for all macromolecules, yet each monomer and also polymer reaction is certain to that is class. Dehydration reactions typically require an investment of energy for new bond formation, while hydrolysis reactions commonly release energy by breaking bonds.

Review Questions

Dehydration synthesis leader to formation of

monomerspolymerswater and also polymersnone that the above


During the breakdown of polymers, i beg your pardon of the following reactions bring away place?

hydrolysisdehydrationcondensationcovalent bond

The adhering to chemical reactants develop the ester ethyl ethanoate (C4H8O2):