Proteins and Enzymes

ID #1031

Regarding amino acid R groups, hydrophobic non-polar groups should only have C-H bonds? When the bond contains O, is it polar?

Polarity doesn't come from oxygen, it comes from a difference in electronegativity. Oxygen and nitrogen happen to be highly electronegative atoms, meaning the probability is the electrons (and therefore a partial negative charge) will spend more time around it (the O or N) than around a less electronegative atom covalently bonded to it. Carbon and hydrogen not only have lower electronegativities than oxygen or nitrogen, their electronegativity is about the same. So a C-C bond or a C-H bond will be non-polar, since the electrons are spending about the same amount of time around each atom.

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