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This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student would acquire the basic knowledge of biomolecules and macromolecules of biological interest (sugars, proteins, lipids, nucleic acids) involved in cell biochemical arrangements and metabolic processes. Moreover, the student becomes familar with essential biochemical concepts: enzyme function and catalysis, intermediary metabolism, cell signalling and metabolic regulation.

Course contents

Amino Acids, Peptides, and Proteins: the aminoacids and the peptide bond; protein structures and  function.

Enzymes: enzyme kinetics and regulation of enzyme activity.

Carbohydrates: monosaccharides, disaccharides and polysaccharides.

Nucleotides and Nucleic Acids: nucleotides and nucleic acids structure; function of nucleotides.

Lipids: storage lipids and structural lipids in membranes; lipids as signals, cofactors and pigments.

Biological Membranes and Transport: the composition and architecture of membranes; solute transport across membranes.

Glycolysis, Gluconeogenesis, and the Pentose Phosphate Pathway: glycolysis steps and feeder pathways for glycolysis; gluconeogenesis and the pentose phosphate pathway; principles of metabolic regulation.

Metabolism of Glycogen: glycogen syntesis, breakdonwn and regulation.

The Citric Acid Cycle: production of acetyl-CoA, reaction and regulation of the citric acid cycle.

Fatty acid catabolism: oxidation of fatty acdids and ketone bodies production; fatty acid catabolism regualtion .

Amino Acid Oxidation and the Production of Urea: metabolic fates of amino groups and nitrogen excretion by urea cycle.

Oxidative Phosphorylation: morphology and function of mitochondria; electron transfer reactions in mitochondria and respiratory complexes; the ATP synthase and reguylation of oxidative phosphorylation.

Lipid Biosynthesis: biosynthesis of fatty acids, triacylglyceros, membrane phospholipids and cholesterol; regulation of lipid biosynthesis.

Hormonal Regulation of Metabolism: insulin, glucagon and adrenaline in the regulation of cellular metabolism.

Genes, Chromosomes and DNA Metabolism: DNA supercoiling and chromosomes structure; DNA replication and repair.

RNA Metabolism: DNA-dependent synthesis of RNA and proscessing.

Protein metabolism: the genetic code and synthesis of protein.


1. David L Nelson, Michael M Cox. "Introduzione alla biochimica di Lehninger" Sesta edizione A cura di Edon Melloni (2018) ed. Zanichelli;

2. J. Koolman, K.H. Roehm. "Testo atlante di Biochimica" Seconda edizione - Zanichelli.

3. L. Pollegioni. "Fondamenti di Biochimica" ed. EdiSES.

4. Teaching material uploaded on-line.

Teaching methods

The presentation of each subject is supported by the simultaneous projection of illustrations and schemes to facilitate understanding. Seminars could be requested by students too deepen subjects of specific aquacoltural interest.

Assessment methods

The learning assessment involves an oral test.  During the test it will be placed at least three questions with the same weight. Any mid-term tests may be carried out during the course, in agreement with the students.

Teaching tools

Blackboard, video-projector, PC.

Office hours

See the website of Salvatore Nesci