GRE Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology with TestWare (REA): Second edition

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If you’re serious about your career, use the most comprehensive GRE book on the market today.


Scoring well on the GRE Biochemistry test doesn’t just help you get into grad school, it helps move your career forward. So it’s worth every minute you can spare to be knowledgeable and confident.

Our exclusive Pro Study Plan gives you a complete road map from now until test day to help you prepare for the GRE Biochemistry test as efficiently as possible.

Everything you need to know for the GRE Biochemistry test, presented in concise sections that work easily into a busy schedule.

With 2 full-length GRE Biochemistry exams, you’ll know exactly how you’re doing every step of the way. And with each repetition, you’ll measure your progress and build confidence.

We’ve distilled years of experience into concrete suggestions for answering every type of question you’ll encounter on the GRE Biochemistry test. By learning the right approaches, you’ll avoid traps and save time.

REA’s GRE Biochemistry TestWare combines a realistic GRE test environment with the most powerful scoring analysis and diagnostic tools available. With every GRE Biochemistry practice test you take, you’ll gain knowledge and confidence for the real exam. Automatic scoring and instant reports help you zero in on the topics and types of GRE Biochemistry questions that give you trouble now, so you’ll succeed on the GRE!

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780738608341
  • Publisher: Research & Education Association
  • Publication date: 5/20/2010
  • Series: GRE Test Preparation
  • Edition description: Second
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 10.70 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas E. Smith, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, College of Medicine, Howard University in Washington, D.C. He is also professor of ophthalmology at Howard University Hospital.

He began his career at Benedict College in S.C., where he received a B.S. in chemistry/biology. In 1959 he received an M.S., and in 1962 a Ph.D., in biochemistry at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and a post-doctoral in 1963 at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo.

Dr. Smith’s professional experience spans five decades, from his work as a chemist with the National Heart Institute to his work with the National Science Foundation. Among his many activities, Dr. Smith was on the editorial board of the Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics from 1976-1994, was a leading member of the Association of Medical and Graduate Departments of Biochemistry from 1980-1999. Over the years he has also been active in various roles with Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Washington Academy of Sciences, the American Association of Medical Colleges, the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the National Board of Medical Examiners, the National Institutes of Health, and the Committee on Research Infastructure in Minority Institutions, University of the District of Columbia.

Marguerite Wilton Coomes, Ph.D., is associate professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, College of Medicine, Howard University in Washington, D.C., where she has been since 1983. In 1994, she received the Kaiser-Permanente Award for Teaching from Howard University College of Medicine. In the same year, she received the Howard University Health Science Teaching Award.

A sometime GRE question writer in cell and molecular biology, Dr. Coomes received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry in 1980 from The University of Texas Health Science Center, Dallas, Texas. She received her M.S. in 1975 and B.S. (summa cum laude) in 1973, both from North Texas State University in Denton, Texas.

Her other credentials include various projects and workshops with the American Association for the Advancement of Science; subcommittees with American Association for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; 10 years as Chief Proctor of the United States Medical Licensure Examination for Howard University College of Medicine; and she has served on the review panel for graduate and postdoctoral awards for the Howard Hughes Foundation and the Ford Foundation. She is also a published author and contributing author of scientific books and papers.

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Read an Excerpt



This book, along with REA’s exclusive TestWare®
software, provides you with an accurate and complete
representation of the GRE Biochemistry, Cell
and Molecular Biology Subject Test. REA’s two full-length
practice tests are based on the latest editions of
the exam. Our topical reviews are designed to prepare
you for the very kind of material you are most likely
to encounter when taking the actual test.
Our sample tests have been carefully calibrated to match the GRE
Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology Subject
Test's level of difficulty, its format, and, of course, the
type and proportional representation of its content. Following
each practice test you will find an answer key
along with detailed step-by-step explanations designed
to help you master the relevant material and score high.

The practice tests in this book and software package
are included in two formats: in printed form in the
book and in TestWare® format on the enclosed CD. We
recommend that you begin your preparation by first taking
the practice exams on your computer. The software
provides timed conditions, and instantaneous, accurate
scoring that makes it easier to pinpoint your strengths
and weaknesses.


To aid us in meeting our objective of providing you
with the best possible study guide for the GRE Biochemistry,
Cell and Molecular Biology Test, REA’s test
experts have carefully prepared our topical reviews and
practice exams. Our authors come armed with specific
knowledge of the GRE Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular
Biology Test. They have thoroughly examined and
researched the mechanics of the GRE Biochemistry, Cell
and Molecular Biology Test to ensure that our model
tests accurately depict the exam and appropriately challenge
the student. Our experts are highly regarded in the
educational community. They have taught and conducted
scientific research at competitive institutions. They have
an in-depth knowledge of the subjects presented in the
book and provide accurate questions that will put you in
a position to do your very best on the exam.


The GRE Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology
Test is taken by students applying to graduate programs
in biochemistry. Most programs require that
applicants submit scores for both the GRE General Test
and the GRE Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology
Test; together with other undergraduate records, they
are part of the highly competitive admission process to
graduate school. Both tests are offered by Educational
Testing Service (ETS) and administered throughout the
United States and abroad. You can obtain a test registration
booklet from your college or by contacting ETS
directly. To determine if you should take the GRE Biochemistry,
Cell and Molecular Biology Test, contact the universities you are
applying to for admission. For questions pertaining to GRE
Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology policies, contact:

Graduate Record Examinations
Educational Testing Service
P.O. Box 6000
Princeton, NJ 08541-6000
Phone: (866) 473-4373
Fax: 1-610-290-8975


Many students qualify for extra time to take the GRE
Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology Test. For information
on how ETS meets disability needs, contact:

ETS Disability Services
Educational Testing Service
P.O. Box 6054
Princeton, NJ 08541–6054
Phone: 1-866-387-8602 (toll free)
Monday–Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Eastern Time (New York)
TTY: 1-609-771-7714
Fax: 1-973-735-1892



Subject                             Percent

Biochemistry:                       36%
Chemical and Physical Foundations
Biomolecules: Structure, Assembly, Organization, and Dynamics
Catalysis and Binding
Major Metabolic Pathways
Bioenergetics (Including Respiration and Photosynthesis)
Regulation and Integration of Metabolism

Cell Biology:                            28%
Cellular Compartments of Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes:
Organization, Dynamics, and Functions
Cell Surface and Communication
Cytoskeleton, Motility, and Shape Actin-Based Systems
(Including Muscle Contraction)
Protein Synthesis and Processing
Cell Division, Differentiation, and Development

Molecular Biology and Genetics:    36%
Genetic Foundations
Chromatin and Chromosomes
Genome Maintenance
Gene Expression
Gene Regulation in Prokaryotes
Gene Regulation in Eukaryotes
Bacteriophages and Animal and Plant Viruses


The test is usually given three times a year and
contains approximately 180 multiple-choice questions,
which you must answer in 2 hours and 50 minutes.
Each of the 180 questions is worth one point. There is
a penalty for wrong answers, which serves to correct
for “guessing.” For each wrong answer, one-quarter of
a point is deducted from your score. Unanswered questions
don’t count for or against you.


REA’s targeted subject review concisely and systematically
summarizes the main areas tested on the GRE Biochemistry,
Cell and Molecular Biology Test.
We have prepared it to help you better grasp concepts
that your textbook explores in far greater detail.
By studying our review, your chances of scoring
well on the actual exam will be greatly increased. It
affords you a kind of master checklist for everything
you need to know. After thoroughly studying the material
presented in the review, you should go on to take
the practice tests. Used in combination, the review
and practice tests will enhance your test-taking skills
and give you the confidence needed to obtain a high


As with other GRE subject tests, the GRE Biochemistry,
Cell and Molecular Biology Test gauges knowledge that
you have gained throughout your academic career.
Most of what’s tested on the GRE Biochemistry, Cell and
Molecular Biology Test will require you to make use of
information you learned in your General Biochemistry
courses in college.

We at REA believe the best way to prep for the
GRE Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology Test
is to replicate the complete GRE test-taking experience.
Toward that end, we provide two full-length
exams that accurately reflect this subject test in terms
of format, content, and degree of difficulty. Our practice
exams mirror the latest GRE Biochemistry, Cell
and Molecular Biology Test forms and include every
type of question that you can expect to encounter
when you take the exam.
Following each of our practice
exams is an answer key complete with detailed
explanations and solutions. Designed specifically to
clarify the material for the student, the explanations
not only provide the correct answers, but also explain
why the answer to a particular question is indeed the
best choice. By completing both practice exams and
studying the explanations that follow, you will isolate
your strengths and weaknesses. This, in turn, will
enable you to concentrate on attacking the sections of
the exam you find to be toughest.

Participate in Study Groups
As a final word on how to study for this test, you
may want to study with others. This will allow you to
share knowledge and obtain feedback from other members
of your study group. Study groups may make preparing
for the exam more enjoyable.


Although you will probably have to take both the
GRE General Test and the GRE Biochemistry, Cell
and Molecular Biology Subject Test, try to avoid taking
them on the same day. Taking any test is stressful,
and after sitting for one extremely long standardized
test, you will hardly be at your best for a second.

Be sure to register for testing dates several months
before the due date to ensure that the graduate schools
you designate will receive your scores by the application
deadlines. Most schools will not consider an incomplete

Because the test is not divided into sections, you are
completely responsible for budgeting your own time. All
the questions are worth the same number of points, so
you should not spend too much time on any one item.

The GRE Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology Test
attempts to cover a broad range of topics. It is unlikely
that you will have complete knowledge of all of them.
It is important that you do not spend too much time on
questions you find difficult at the expense of working on
those that are easier for you.

The time constraints are such that, on average, a little
less than a minute is allotted for each question. Thus,
it is unlikely that you will have time to answer all 180
questions; however, you can still receive an excellent
score without answering all of them. Because the questions
are in no particular order, we recommend making
a complete sweep through all the questions on the
test. Answer the ones that are immediately easy for you
and mark those that you want to revisit.
Once you have answered all of the easier questions,
you can use the remaining time to go back through the
test and work on the harder questions, which require a
greater amount of your time. In this way, you will ensure
that you have the chance to answer all the questions
you are likely to get correct, instead of spending valuable
time on difficult questions near the beginning of the test
and leaving easy questions at the end of the test unanswered.

The penalty for wrong answers should not deter you
completely from guessing. If you have no clue what the
answer might be, by all means press on. However, if
you can eliminate one or two of the five choices, it is to
your advantage to make an educated guess. Statistically,
guessing randomly among the five choices would give
you the possibility of guessing correctly 1/5 of the time.
(This is what the quarter-point deduction for wrong
answers is designed to balance.) Being able to eliminate
three of the choices as wrong answers means that guessing
between the two remaining choices would give you
a far better chance of being correct.


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Table of Contents


About This Book and TestWare® 
About REA's Test Experts 
About the Test 
Format of the GRE Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology Test 
Scoring the Test
Score Conversion Chart
Test-Taking Strategies
The Day of the Test  
During the Test 
Pro Study Plan 

Chemical Bonds and Energy Conservation
Thermodynamics and Energy Conservation  
Potential Energy Curve
Redox States
Water, pH, Acid-Base Reactions, and Buffers
Structure of Water
Acid-Base Reactions
Concept of Acids and Bases in Relationship to pH
Biomolecular Structures
Amino Acids and Proteins
Structure of Proteins
Primary Structure
Secondary Structure
ß-Pleated sheets
Tertiary Structure
Quaternary Structure
Chemical and Enzymatic Reaction Mechanisms
Chemical Reaction Mechanisms
First-Order Reactions
Second-Order Reactions
Some Factors That Influence Reaction Rates
Enzymatic Reaction Mechanisms
How Does an Enzyme Help Lower the Energy/Heat of Activation of a Reaction
Proximity and Orientation
Covalent Catalysis
Strain and Distortion
Acid-Base Catalysis
Selected List of Coenzymes and Their Roles in Catalysis
Classification of Enzymes by the Types of Reactions They Catalyze
Enzyme Kinetics
Practical Aspect of Initial Velocity Measurement
Lineweaver-Burk Plots
Diagnostic Value of Lineweaver-Burk Plots: Enzyme Inhibition  
Classification of the Types of Enzyme Inhibitors
Mechanism-Based Inhibitors
Two-Substrate Reactions
Sequential Reactions May Be Either Random or Ordered 
Ping-Pong or Double-Displacement Reactions
Antibodies as Catalysts
Regulation of Enzymatic Activity
Summary of Regulatory Mechanisms
Kinetic Models for Allosteric Regulation
Kinetic Description of Allosteric Interactions: The Concerted Model
Significance of the Hill Coefficient 
Forms of Conserved Energy in Metabolism
Reaction That Commits Glucose Metabolism to Glycolysis 
Aldolase Catalyzes the Production of Two 3-Carbon Compounds from Fru 1,6-P2
Triose Phosphate Isomerase
Glyceraldehyde 3-Phosphate Dehydrogenase (GAPDH) Reaction
Phosphoglycerate Kinase Reaction
Phosphoglycerate Mutase Reaction
Enolase Catalyzes the Second “High-Energy” Compound in Glycolysis  
Pyruvate Kinase Generates the Second ATP Molecule in Glycolysis
Summary of Glycolysis
Pyruvate Metabolism: Formation of Acetylcoenzyme A
The Tricarboxyclic Acid Cycle (TCA Cycle)
Regulation of the TCA cycle
Anaplerotic Reactions for the TCA Cycle
Oxidative Phosphorylation
Pentose Phosphate Pathway
Oxidative Phase of the Pentose Phosphate Pathway
Nonoxidative Phase of the Pentose Phosphate Pathway
Glucuronic Acid Oxidative Pathway
Gluconeogenesis and Glycogenesis
Summary of Entry Points in the TCA Cycle and Glycolysis That Can Lead to Gluconeogenesis
Glycogen Metabolism
Regulation of Glycogen Metabolism
Photochemical Consideration of Light Absorption and Energy Generation   
Light Independent Reactions of Photosynthesis: The Calvin Cycle
Adaptive Photosynthetic Mechanisms
Nitrogen Metabolism
Nitrogen Fixation
Chemical Reactions of Pyridoxyl Phosphate Relative to Amino Acid Metabolism
Biosynthesis of Amino Acids
Amino Acids Derived from Oxaloacetate/Aspartate
Amino Acids Derived from 3-Phosphoglycerate
Amino Acids Derived from Pyruvate
Amino Acids Derived from a-Ketoglutarate  
Amino Acids Derived from Phosphoenolpyruvate and Erythrose-4-phosphate
Degradation of Amino Acids
The Urea Cycle
Nucleotide Structure and Metabolism
Synthesis of Purines
Summary of Key Points About Purine Biosynthesis
Degradation of Purines
Synthesis of Pyrimidines
Synthesis of Deoxyribonucleotides
Regulation of Ribonucleotide Reductase Activity
Thymine Biosynthesis
Degradation of Pyrimidines
Heme Metabolism
Heme and Chlorophyll Biosynthesis
Heme and Chlorophyll Degradation
Lipid Metabolism
Fatty Acid Biosynthesis
Elongation of Palmitic Acid
Formation of Unsaturated Fatty Acids
Nomenclature and Other Positions Where Desaturases Function
Arachiodonic Acid and Signaling/Regulatory Molecules
Cholesterol and Steroid Hormones Are Derived from Acetate
Fatty Acids Are Stored as Triglycerides
Fatty Acid Oxidation
Special Cases to Consider for b-Oxidation of Fatty Acids
Methods for Cell Disruption
Mechanical Methods
Nonmechanical Methods of Cell Disruption
Separation of Cellular Components by Centrifugation
Centrifugal Force Required to Pellet Selected Cellular Components
Purification of Soluble Proteins
Ion Exchange Chromatography
Hydrophobic Interaction Chromatography
Gel Filtration Chromatography
Affinity Chromatography
High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC)
Isotopes Used to Study Biological Systems
Radioactive Isotopes
Stable Isotopes
Relationship of Solute Concentration to Its Absorbance of Light
Absorbance of Light and the Lambert-Beer Law
Sample Analyses by Electrophoresis
Polyacrylamide Gel Electrophoresis (PAGE)
Two-Dimensional Gel Electrophoresis
Determination of Molecular Mass Using SDS Denaturing Gels
Western Blot Analysis 


Cellular Compartments of Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes
Organization, Dynamics, and Functions
General Introduction to Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes
Cell Death
Cellular Membrane Systems (Structure and Transport)
Prokaryotic Cells, Plasma Membrane, and Cell Wall
Eukaryotic Plasma Membranes and Cell Walls
Membrane Biogenesis
Membrane Transport
Inactive Transport
Active Transport
Exo- and Endocytosis
Nucleus (Envelope and Matrix) and Chromosomes
Prokaryotic Cells—Chromosome
Eukaryotic Cells—Chromosomes and Nucleus
Other Intracellular Structures, Including Mitochondria and Chloroplasts  
Specialized Structures and Other Characteristics
Cell Dynamics
Cell Surface and Cell Communication
Extracellular Matrix
The Extracellular Matrix of Connective Tissue
Connective Tissue
The Proteins of Connective Tissue
The Extracellular Matrix of Endothelial Tissue
Cell–Cell Interaction
Binding of Cells to the Extracellular Matrix
Communication between Extracellular Matrix and Cytoskeleton 
Cell Adhesion and Junctions: Cell–Cell Communication
Signal Transduction and Receptor Function
Cell Membrane Receptors
Second Messenger Systems
The cAMP Pathway
The Phosphatidylinositol Pathway
G-Protein-Associated Ion Channels
Receptors That Are Enzymes
Steroid and Thyroid Hormones
Excitable Membrane Systems
Cytoskeleton, Motility, and Shape
Actin Filaments
Actin in Muscle Contraction
Intermediate Filaments
Organization of the Cytoskeleton
Cell Surface Structures of Prokaryotes
Protein Synthesis and Processing
Cell Division, Differentiation, and Development
Bacterial Cell Division
Eukaryotic Cell Cycle
Mitosis and Cytokinesis 
Growth Factors
Meiosis and Gametogenesis  
Fertilization and Early Embryonic Development
Early Mammalian Development
From Gastrula to Fully Developed Organism
Positional Information
Nuclear/Cytoplasmic Interactions
Tissue-Specific Expression


Mendelian and Non-Mendelian Inheritance  
Punnett Square Diagrams
Transformation, Transduction, and Conjugation   
Recombination and Complementation
Mutational Analysis
Genetic Mapping and Linkage Analysis
Chromatin and Chromosomes
Translocations, Inversions, Deletions, and Duplications  
Aneuploidy and Polyploidy
Genome Structure
Repeated DNA and Gene Families  
Centromeres and Telomeres
Gene Identification
Transposable Elements
Gene Maintenance
DNA Replication
The Challenges of DNA Replication   
DNA Damage and Repair
DNA Modification
DNA Recombination and Gene Conversion
Branch Migration
Gene Conversion
The Genetic Code
Gene Regulation in Prokaryotes
Positive and Negative Control of the Operon     
Gene Regulation in Eukaryotes
Cis- and Trans-Acting Regulatory Elements
Gene Rearrangements and Amplification
Bacteriophages and Animal and Plant Viruses
Genome Replication and Regulation
Virus-Host Interactions
Restriction Maps
DNA Cloning in Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes
Other Uses of Restriction Endonucleases
Nucleic Acid Blotting and Hybridization
Sequencing and Analysis
Protein-Nucleic Acid Interaction
Site-Directed Mutagenesis
Answer to Mapping Problem


Practice Exam 1
Detailed Explanations of Answers

Practice Exam 2
Detailed Explanations of Answers

Installing REA's TestWare®

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