00061 - Biochemistry

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2019/2020

Learning outcomes

The course provides knowledge in the following areas:

  • properties of aqueous solutions in relation to cell structural and functional characteristics;
  • functional properties of carbohydrates, proteins, lipids and nucleic acids;
  • structural and functional properties of hemoglobin and toxicity of carbon monoxide;
  • characteristics of cell membranes;
  • mechanism of enzymatic action.

Course contents

Introduction to the study of Biochemistry. Aqueous environment is suitable for life. Weak interactions in aqueous systems and their biological importance. Osmotic pressure: biological implications. pH buffering mechanisms in biological systems.

Structure and function of carbohydrates. Glucose homopolysaccharides and heteropolysaccharides.

Structure of nucleosides and nucleotides. Nucleosides mono-, di- and triphosphate (ATP). Biological functions of nucleotides. Structure and function of DNA and RNA.

Structure and function of triglycerides, phospholipids and sterols. Lipid transport in blood plasma: lipoproteins.

Structure and classification of alfa-amino acids. Acid-base properties. Peptide bond. The structural levels of protein organization. Classification of proteins. Structure and function of fibrous and globular proteins: collagen, alfa-keratin, myoglobin, hemoglobin. Structure, function and classification of enzymes. Mechanism of catalysis. Regulation of enzyme activity. Hydrosoluble vitamins and coenzymes.

Composition, structure and function of cell membranes. Ionic pumps (Na+/K+ ATPase) and ion channels.

Introduction to metabolism: catabolism and anabolism. Bioenergetics. High-energy compounds. Role of ATP in metabolism. Carbohydrate metabolism. Glycolysis. Glycogenesis and glycogenolysis. Glycemia. Gluconeogenesis. Krebs cycle. Respiratory chain and oxidative phosphorylation.


M. Stefani, N. Taddei “Chimica Biochimica e Biologia applicata” Zanichelli

Teaching material can be downloaded through Insegnamenti online - Supporto online alla didattica (https://iol.unibo.it/).

Teaching methods


Assessment methods

Written examination with open questions. The final mark is the weighted average of the results obtained in the individual disciplines of the course (General and Inorganic Chemistry, Organic and Environmental Chemistry, Biochemistry). To book an exam, the student must use AlmaEsami ( https://almaesami.unibo.it/almaesami/welcome.htm ).

Teaching tools

Teaching material can be downloaded through Insegnamenti online - Supporto online alla didattica (https://iol.unibo.it/).

Scientific videos to clarify biochemical processes.

Office hours

See the website of Paola Taddei