00061 - Biochemistry

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2019/2020

Learning outcomes

The course provides knowledge in the human metabolism and fundamentals of hormonal metabolic regulations.

Course contents

Main class of inorganic and bioinorganic compounds: elements, hydrides, oxides and their derivatives (acids and bases), salts and their nomenclature.

Oxidation state. Redox reactions and their importance in biochemistry. Standard reduction potentials.

Solutions. Properties of electrolytic and non electrolytic solutions. Expressions concentration of solutions.

Colligative properties, in particular osmotic pressure and its biological importance. Isotonic solutions. Physiological solutions.

Chemical reactions: kinetics. Chemical Equilibrium: Equilibrium constant. Factors influencing chemical equilibrium. Le Chatelier principle.

The pH concept. pH scale. Acid/base theories. Ionic equilibria in acqueous solution: dissociation of acids and basis. Polyprotic acids. Salt. Buffer solutionsand the Henderon-Hasselbach equation. Biological buffers.

Main classes of organic compounds. Aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons, alkyl halogenides, alcohols, phenols, amines, aldeydes and ketones, carboxylic acods and their derivatives (esters, amides, anhidrydes).

Structure and properties of the main biologically important organic compound. Optically active compounds. Carbohydrates: monosaccharides, disaccharides, olisaccharides  and polisaccharides. Lipids: fatty acids, mono-, di- and triglycerides, sfingolipids, phospholipids and cholesterol.

Purines and pirimidines. Nucleosides, nucleotides and polynucleotides.

Aminoacids. Distintive functional groups. Essential and non essential aminoacids. Classes of aminiacids. Peptidic bond.

Proteins. Protein structure and function. Primary, secondary, terziary and quaternary structure of proteins. Fibrous and globular protein; characteristic and function. Keratins, collagen, elastin. Native form. Reversible and irreversible denaturation of proteins.

Myoglobin and hemoglobin. Oxygen and carbon dioxide transport. Saturation. Allosterism of emoglobin nd its allosteric modulators (proton, carbon dioxide and 2,3-bisphosphoglicerate).

Enzymes. General characteristics, distribution and classification of enzymes. Mechanism of enzyme action. Enzyme kinetics: Michaelis-Mentel model.  Enzyme affinity and efficiency. Enzimtic dosage. Modulation of enzymatic activity: influence of pH and temperature. Allosteric and covalent modultion.Vitamin-derived coenzymes. Enzyme inhibition: antimetabolite drugs. Irreversible enzyme activation. Isoenzymes and their diagnostic importance.

Bioenergetics. Gibbs free energy. High energy compounds (1,3-bisphoglycerate, phosphoenolpiruvare, fosfocreatine, ATP). ATP: metabolic role and synthesis mechanism: mitocondrial ATP production and substrate level phosphorilation. Energetically coupled reactions.

Metabolism: essential concepts in metabolism, catabolic and anabolic pathway.

Carboihydrate metabolism: digestion and adsorption; glycogen metabolism, glycolysis and substrate level phosphorilation for ATP synthesis. Piruvate metabolism: lactate formation and oxidative decarboxylation  and acetil-CoA formation. Krebs cicle. Pentose fhosfhate cicle.Gluconeogenesis.

Lipid metabolism. Absorption and digestion of lipids. Plasmatic lipoprotein. Triglycerides catabolism and beta.oxidation of fatty acids. Lipogenesis. Chetogenesis. Cholesterol metabolism and function. Bile acids and steroid ormones.

Mitocondrial respiratory chain. ATP production. Chemioosmotic model.

Protein metabolism. Absorpion and digestion of proteins. aminoacids degradation: transdeamination. Gluconeogenetic aminiacids. Chetogenetics aminoacids. Urea cycle.

Ormons. General characteristics and classification. Mechanism of action. Example of peptidic ormons: pituitary gland ormons, pancreas ormons, parathormone and calcitonin. Example of ormons derivate from aminiacid: thyroid ormons, medullar adrenal gland. Ormonal regulation of the energetic metabolism: insulin, glucagone and adrenalin.


ppt slides of the teacher

Teaching methods

Frontal lection

Assessment methods


Teaching tools

ppt slides

Office hours

See the website of Vitaliano Tugnoli

See the website of Paola Taddei