Learning outcomes of the course unit
The course has as its formative objective to provide sufficient knowledge in general and organic chemistry and biochemistry, to enable the students i) to understand the chemical bases of life, the structural and functional principles of molecules with biological interest; ii) to understand the biochemical pathways and their relationships and metabolic regulations.
Course contents summary
<>Elements and Compounds. Atoms and Molecules-The subatomic particles, protons, electrons, and neutrons. Atomicnumberand atomic weight. Isotopes. Atomic orbitals and their energylevels.Electron configurations of the first 20 elements. Periodicproperties ofthe elements, periodic table and electron configurations.
Chemical bonding: formulas and nomenclature-Lewis symbols of the elements. Ionic and covalentbonds.Electronegativity and polar molecules. Intermolecular forces.Formulasand nomenclature of inorganic compounds. Valence and oxidation number. Elements, ions and compounds of biological interest: main biological functions.
The mole concept and chemical reactions - The mole concept. Chemical reaction: the law of mass conservation. The stoichiometry of reactions.
Solutions-Polarity of water molecules and hydrogen bonding. Water as asolvent.Electrolytes and non electrolytes. Strong and weakelectrolytes.Expressions of concentration :molarity, percentcomposition (weight andvolume). Osmosis and osmotic pressure. Isotonic,hypotonic andhypertonic solutions. Ionization of water.
Acids and bases-Definition of acids and bases. Solubility and dissociation inwater.Strong acids and strong bases. Weak acids and weakbases.Neutralization reactions. The pH.concept. Buffers: the control ofpH.Physiological buffers.
Organic compounds and main characteristic of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins-Carbon compounds. Covalent bond in organic compounds.Isomerism.Functional groups. Types of reactions: substitution,addition,elimination. Structure and function of macromolecules.Monosaccharides,disaccharides and polysaccharides. Fatty acids.Tryglicerides andphospholipids. Amminoacids as structural units ofproteins. Peptidicbond and protein structure.
Enzymes - Kinetics of enzymatic reactions. The Michaelis-Menten constant (Km). Classification. Coenzymes. Isoenzymes. Competitive and non-competitive inhibition of enzyme activity. Allosteric enzymes.
Hemoglobin - Structure and function. An outline about synthesis and destruction.
Hormones - Overview and mechanisms of signal transduction.
Vitamins and coenzymes - Water-soluble vitamins:Thiamine(B1) - Riboflavin (B2) – Pyridoxine (B6) – Folic acid –Cobalamin (B12)– Biotin (H) – Pantothenic acid – Nicotinamide –Ascorbic acid. Lipid-soluble vitamins: Vitamin A – Vitamin D – Vitamin E – Vitamin K.
Coenzymes involved in hydrogen or electrons transfer & coenzymes involved in groups transfer.
Bioenergetics - Energy production and energy storage in the living cell. Some basic principles of bioenergetics. High-energy compounds.
Introduction to the metabolism - Catabolism. Anabolism. General aspects of metabolism regulation. Carbohydrates metabolism:digestionand absorption of carbohydrates. Glyolysis. Synthesis andcatabolism ofglycogen. The pentose pathway. The Krebs citric acidcycle.Gluconeogenesis. Lipid metabolism: digestion and absorption of fat. Fatty acids b-oxidation. Synthesis and oxidation of ketone bodies. Biosynthesis of fatty acids. Structure and function of cholesterol. Amino acid metabolism:digestionof proteins and absorption of amino acids. Essential andnon-essentialaminoacids. Main reactions of amino acids: deaminationandtransamination. Fate of the amino group and ammonia. The ureacycle.Decarboxylation.
Campbell N A, Reece JB. “La chimica della vita e la cellula”, Zanichelli Editore.
Giuseppe Arienti. “Un compendio di Biochimica”; Piccin Editore.
frontal lessons with slides
written tests (quiz)