BIOCHEMISTRY AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY
Learning outcomes of the course unit
At the end of the course the student should have acquired sufficient knowledge and information to understand, critically discuss the biological strategies and interdependence goals between the various phases of metabolism and practically apply the molecular basis of the mechanisms of transmission of genetic information.
The student must have basic knowledge of the general and organic chemistry of the
main biological molecules. Basic knowledge of the biology of the
Course contents summary
The course aims to provide a knowledge of metabolic pathways and their integration and the molecular
mechanisms of the transmission of genetic information.
Functions of proteins: transporters, defense and muscular contraction
Enzymes - Structure and classification of enzymes. Coenzymes. Enzymesubstrate interactions. Enzymatic kinetics. Mechanisms of enzymatic
regulation.Introduction to metabolism - Anabolism and
catabolism.Glucose Metabolism - Aerobic and anaerobic glycolysis.
Gluconeogenesis. Cori cycle. Glycogen syntesis and glycogenolysis.
Hormonal regulation of glucose metabolism.Lipid metabolism - Plasmatic
lipoproteins. Lipolysis and its hormonal regulation. Beta-oxidation of fatty
acids. Ketogenesis. Biosynthesis of fatty acids, triglycerides, cholesterol.
Statins. Synthesis of prostaglandins and leukotrienes.Aminoacid and
protein metabolism - Intracellular protein degradation. Transamination
and desamination. Transport of ammonia to the liver. Alanine cycle. Urea
cycle. Glucogenic and ketogenic amino acids.Nucleotide metabolism -
Degradation of purines and pyrimidines. Recovery route of nucleobases.
Forms of hyperuricemia.Mitochondrial metabolism - Cyclic acid cycle.
Complexes of the mitochondrial respiratory chain. Mitchell's chemoosmotic theory. Transport of reducing equivalents in the mitochondria.
Respiratory control.Hormones - General mechanism of cellular action of
hormones based on their structure. Structure, receptors and mechanism
of action of insulin.Vitamins - Water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins:
structure, functions, mechanism of action and main
deficiencies.Hemostasis biochemistry - Molecular mechanisms of platelet
aggregation and blood coagulation.
From Darwin to Mendel until the discovery of the transforming principle:
the basis of genetic information.
The DNA composition and structure.
Organization of DNA in eukaryotic cell: histones, chromatin,
RNA: composition and structure.
Types of RNA
DNA replication: basic mechanisms, enzymes and regulation.
Damage and DNA mutations and repair mechanisms.
The RNA transcription in eukaryotes: mechanisms, enzymes and
Regulation of gene expression in eukaryotes.
The RNA maturation
Elements of RNA interference.
From RNA to proteins: mechanisms and enzymes of mRNA translation.
The genetic code.
Protein synthesis, maturation and post-translational modification.
Protein degradation and protein turnover.
Recombinant DNA and biotechnology:
Polymerase chain reaction, restriction endonucleases, restriction maps
and DNA sequencing,
Recombinant DNA, cloning and selection of clones.
Expression vectors and fusion proteins.
Applications of recombinant DNA technology.
Genomics, proteomics and microarrays
Introduction to Biochemistry of Lehninger
David L. Nelson, Michael M. Cox
Biologia molecolare del gene. James D. Watson et al. settima ed.
Biochimica Medica, strutturale, metabolica e funzionale Siliprandi e
Lectures involving the use of presentations and images when possible
multimedia movies to illustrate the molecular approach to the matter.
Assessment methods and criteria
The assessment of the achievement of the objectives of the course consists of an oral examination.