Natural Products

Organic chemistry had its genesis in the study of naturally occurring substances, and this remains a constant source of information and intellectual challenge. In this section some of the most interesting and important classes of natural products will be discussed.

Table of Contents

The Structure and Configuration of Glucose
Anomeric Forms of Monosaccharides
Fatty Acids
Soaps & Detergents
Fats & Oils
Lipid Soluble Vitamins
Biosynthetic Mechanisms
Proteins and Amino Acids
α-Amino Acids
Reactions of Amino Acids
Synthesis of Amino Acids
Peptides & Proteins
The Primary Structure of Peptides
Secondary & Tertiary Structure of Large Peptides and Proteins
Peptide Synthesis
Nucleic Acids
The Primary Structure of DNA
The Secondary & Tertiary Structures of DNA
RNA and Protein Synthesis

At various points throughout this text, links to supplementary information or special topics will be located in shaded boxes of this kind.

Problems and Other Resources

The following problems focus on concepts and facts associated with the trearment of natural product chemistry in this text.

Many excellent web sites devoted to various aspects of biochemistry exist. Instructional tutorials combined with molecular model visualization have been created and implemented. Some of the sites have self testing quizzes. The following list is far from complete, but it contains links to pages which enhance and extend the treatment of topics provided in this text.


Monosaccharide BrowserJon Maber, Terra Vivida



Lipid MembranesEric Martz, Univ. Mass. Amherst
cf. H Heller, M Schaefer, & K Schulten, J. Phys. Chem. 97:8343-60, 1993.


Amino Acids

Amino Acid QuizzerEric Martz, Univ. Mass. Amherst
cf. H Heller, M Schaefer, & K Schulten, J. Phys. Chem. 97:8343-60, 1993.
Amino Acid TitrationEdward K. O'Neil and Charles M. Grisham
The University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia.


Peptides & Proteins

Introduction to Protein StructureFranK Gorga, Bridgewater State College, MA
Introduction to Protein StructureVictoria Bragin, Pasadena City College, CA
Protein Explorer Eric Martz & Bob Hansen
Carboxypeptidase TutorialE. Morgan, Curtin University of Technology
Hemoglobin TutorialEric Martz, Univ. Mass. Amherst



DNA StructureEric Martz, Univ. Mass. Amherst
DNA StructureFrieda Reichsman, Univ. Mass. Amherst


General Resources

Protein DatabankResearch Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics (RCSB)
Chime & Jmol ModelsA large assortment of Chime models of biologically important compounds