Structural Biochemistry/Helpful Mnemonics

This category is meant to better help students with understanding and remembering topics in biochemistry that would otherwise be tough to do.

Southern vs. Northern vs. Western BlotEdit

SN0W DR0P: · Match up the 1st word letter with 2nd word letter:

  • Southern = DNA
  • Northern = RNA
  • Western = Protein

· Note: the 0's in snow drop are zeros, since there is no Eastern blot.

For Eukaryotic Cells-DNA ReplicationEdit

  • LeaDing strand- dna polymerase Delta
  • LAgging strand- dna polymerase Alpha

Purines vs. PyrimidinesEdit


Pure(purines) As(adenine)Gold(guanine) or Guardian Angels are Pure, with two Wings: G and A are Purines, with two Rings. or

Adenine and Guanine are larger structures(two rings) in relation to A Genius who has a larger brain.


Pyrimidines are Cytosine, Uracil, Thymine and are one ring structures. ---> Pyrimidines are C U T from purines.


Pyramids are built for U To C (see)


Glycolysis steps "Goodness Gracious, Father Franklin Did Go By Picking Pumpkins (to) Prepare Pies":









2-Phosphoglycerate (to)

Phosphoenolpyruvate [PEP]


· 'Did', 'By' and 'Pies' tell you the first part of those three: di-, bi-, and py-.

· 'PrEPare' tells location of PEP in the process.

Kreb's CycleEdit

Also referred to as the citric acid cycle or the tricarboxylic acid cycle. Pyruvate is oxidized to acetyl-coA, combines with oxaloacetate to make citrate then...

Citrate → isocitrate → α-Ketoglutarate → Succinyl CoA → Succinate → fumarate → malate → oxaloacetate

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Essential Amino AcidsEdit

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Essential amino acids PVT. TIM HALL:










· Pvt. is short for Private in the military. · Arg and His are considered semiessential.

Carbohydrate MnemonicsEdit

To remember when sugars have alpha or beta configuration of the hydroxyl on the anomeric carbon

"B"eta-Hydroxyl points up because "B"irds fly up And the greek letter alpha looks like a fish and fish swim down therefore, alpha hydroxyl groups point down.

When rings form:

Furanose has four carbons (and is part of a five-membered ring)....four starts with f and so does furanose. Pyranose has five carbons (and is part of a six-membered ring)....pent starts with a p and so does pyranose.

Quick summary of sugars of things you must know: Reducing Sugars vs Non-Reducing Sugars Reducing-When it has anomeric carbons that are hemiacetals>are able to undergoe mutarotation

Non-reducing-When it has anomeric carbons that are acetals>are not able to undergo mutarotation because of the acetal bridge To further understand reducing sugars, looking at the tests that detect them can help.

Tollen's test: Reagent is Ag+, NH4+-OH, H2O....just remember, a tall dark and handsome man who gives you a silver mirror and tells you you look pretty is the key. Silver because the reagent is Ag+. Tall because it is similar to Tollen, the name of test. He is the key because the test is used to test for aldehydes or ketones.



This reaction is an oxidation reaction and basically what these reactions do is remove a C-H bond and add C-O bond. Simple as that. If you have to C-H bond to get rid of, you cannot make a new C-O bond. Ketones have two R groups and do not have the extra H to give to make a C-O bond, so the reaction does not occur if the starting reagent is a ketone. An aldehyde however does have a C-H bond.


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Domain, Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species

General ChemistryEdit

Hydrogen Bonding

Only FON can Hydrogen Bond. FON is referring to Fluorine, Oxygen, and Nitrogen

Gibb's Free Energy


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Loss of Electrons is Oxidation, Gain of Electrons is Reduction ---> LEO the lion says GER


Oxidation Is Loss, Reduction Is Gain ---> OIL RIG

AN Ox and a RED CAT

Anode is site of Oxidation; CAThode is site of REDuction.

Quantum Orbitals

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s, p, d, f. Then orbitals follow the alphabet...g, h, i, j, k, and so on.

Quantum Numbers

National Library (of) Medicine Sizzles ---> n, l, m, s

State Functions

VG PHEST (Very Good Festival)

The following are all state functions:

V for volume

G for Gibb's free energy

P for pressure

H for enthalpy

E for internal energy

S for entropy

T for temperature

Laboratory Safety

Acid to Water, All is Well.

Water to Acid, What an Accident.

Organic ChemistryEdit

Cis/trans (Geometric) Isomers

Z: Zame Zide

E: Epposite

Z for same side and E for opposite sides

Addition of Amine to Carbonyl Group "SE PI" (or "SEe PIe")

Secondary amine --> Enamine Primary amine --> Imine

(Side Note: tertiary and quaternary amines do not react with the C=O group.)


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Meta-Directing Groups on a Benezene Ring

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Quaternary amino -NR3+

Ester -COOR

Sulfonic acid -SO3H

Nitro -NO2

Carbonyl -CHO

Carboxyl -COOH

Cyano -CN

Ortho- and Para- Directing Groups on a Benezene Ring


Alkyl -R

Halogen -X

Alkoxyl -OR

Amino -NH2, -NHR, -NR2 (not -NR3+)

Hydroxyl -OH

Amide -NHCOR

Phenyl -C6H5


Visible Spectrum

In order of increasing frequency:

Roy G. Biv

Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Indigo Violet