Biomolecules or biological molecules are molecules produced by the cells of the living organism as part of metabolism. The four major biomolecules also called as macromolecules are  proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids.

Lets compare these four biomolecules essential for life.

Four Biomolecules Comparison Chart

1. Carbohydrates

  • Made up of monosaccharides joined by glyosidic bond.
  • Made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen
  • Hundreds of monosaccharides joined by glyosidic bond forms polysaccharides.
  • 2 types of polysaccharides
  • Structural polysaccharides like Cellulose that forms plant cell wall and Chitin that forms fungal cell wall.
  • Storage Polysaccharides like starch in plants and glycogen in animals.


  • Short term energy source; the most common respiratory substrate.
  • Structural polysaccharides like Cellulose
  • Reserve food in plants and animals
2. Proteins
  • Made up of amino acids joined by peptide bond.
  • There are 20 standard amino acids. 
  • Hundreds of amino acids joined by peptide bond forms polypeptide.
  • Made up of carbon, hydrogen. oxygen, nitrogen and sulphur (in Sulphur containing amino acids like methionine and cysteine)


  • As enzymes eg: lipase, nuclease, amylase
  • As immunoglobulins eg: IgG, IgM
  • As peptide hormones eg: insulin
  • In locomotion eg: actin and myosin
  • Transport or Carrier Proteins like haemoglobin
  • Nutritional or Storage Proteins like ovalbumin in egg
  • Structural Proteins like collagen, keratin
  • Regulatory proteins involved in signal transduction like GPCR (G protein coupled receptor)
3. Nucleic acids
  • Made up of nucleotides joined by phosphodiester bond.
  • DNA and RNA are the nucleotides
  • Made up of carbon, hydrogen. oxygen, nitrogen and phosphorous


  • Genetic material
  • DNA genetic material in all organisms
  • RNA genetic material only in some viruses like Hepatitis C Virus, SARS, Corona virus
  • RNA also functions as mRNA, snoRNA, guide RNA, as Ribozymes etc.
Watch our 8 minute summary video here on biomolecules
4. Lipids

  • Heterogenous diverse hydrophobic group of biomolecules
  • Fatty acids and glycerol joined by ester bond
  • Made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen
  • Oils: liquid at room temperature
  • Fats: solid at room temperature


  • Long term energy source; stored as adipose tissue in animals
  • Major component of all biological membranes like plasma membrane, mitochondrial membrane etc.
  • Insulation: Protection of internal organs such as heart, liver etc.
  • Steroid hormones such as androgens and estrogens
  • water repellent waxy coating in feathers of birds.

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