CHEMISTRY, BIOCHEMICAL PROPEDEUTICS AND BIOCHEMICAL
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The student will have to become familiar with the name and the corresponding chemical formula of the substances of biochemical-clinical interest. It will also have to know how to recognize the functional groups of the molecules. The student will have to acquire an overview of the cellular metabolic processes, their connection with consumption and the production of energy and how this is based on the concept of living being.
Course contents summary
The course aims to provide essential information on the structure of biological macromolecules and their chemical properties. The student will have to learn how the molecules react and acquire knowledge on the functional role of the biomolecules that make up the cell, seen as an elementary unit of living matter. The student must also understand the fundamental principles of cellular metabolism.
- Water: chemical and physical properties of water. Water as solvent: weak interactions in aqueous systems. Dipoles and interactions between different molecules. The hydrogen bond. Osmosis.
- Ionization of water. Acids, and bases. The pH. Buffer solutions and their biological meaning
- Elements of organic chemistry
- Overview of thermodynamics and bioenergetics: connection between chemical reactions and energy transfer
- The biological macromolecules
Chemical properties of amino acids, the peptide bond.
Overview of the three-dimensional structure of proteins
Myoglobin and Hemoglobin
Enzymes, notes on coenzymes and cofactors
Chemical properties of carbohydrates: monosaccharides, disaccharides and homopolysaccharides
Chemical properties of lipids: reserve lipids and structural lipids of membranes.
Notes on the structure and function of biological membranes.
- Bioenergetics and general scheme of cellular metabolism: metabolic pathways, high-energy compounds, redox coenzymes, principles of metabolic regulation
- Carbohydrate metabolism
Glucose handling and transport, glycolysis, gluconeogenesis and pentose pathway (synthesized)
- The cycle of Krebs or tricarboxylic acids
- Metabolism of fatty acids
Movement and transport of fatty acids, beta oxidation
- Cellular respiration
The respiratory chain
Assessment methods and criteria
The exam includes a written test that will focus on the entire program of the course. To pass the exam you must respond appropriately to a number of questions covering the whole program.