Learning outcomes of the course unit
At the end of the course, the students should demonstrate the understanding of the overall rationale of metabolism, of the structure and function of biological macromolecules and of the mechanisms that allow chemical reactions in living organisms, their regulation and coordination. In detail, the student should be able to:
1. Knowledge and understanding:
- Know and understand the function and structure of biological macromolecules (mono-, disaccarhydes and polysaccharides, amino acids, proteins and nucleotides, cofactors and prostetic groups)
- Know and understand the main metabolic pathways
- Know and understand at the molecular level the mechanism of the enzyme reactions described in the course
2. Applying knowledge and understanding
- describe the structure of any protein or macromolecule
- solve simple biochemical problems
3. Communication skills
- explain the topics of the course effectively with a language that uses the appropriate scientific terminology
4. Learning skills.
- learn new catalytic mechanisms from simplified scientific literature
- learn new metabolic pathways from teaching material or simplified scientific literature.
General and Inorganic Chemistry, Organic chemistry
Course contents summary
The biochemistry module will focus on the structure and function of biological macromolecules, the principles of cell metabolism, the metabolism of carbohydrates and lipids and the principles of protein and nucleic acids metabolism.
- Principles of living organisms.
- Molecular and macromolecular components of cells.
- Structure, dynamics and function of proteins.
- Myoglobin and hemoglobin.
- Allostery and allosteric models.
- Enzymes and coenzymes.
- Mechanisms of catalysis, inhibition and regulation.
- Lipids and biological membranes.
- Principles of metabolism and bioenergetics.
- Glycolysis, gluconeogenesis and their regulation.
- Degradation and synthesis of glycogen.
- Degradation and synthesis of fatty acids.
- Ketone bodies.
- Krebs cycle.
- Oxidative phosphorylation and synthesis of ATP. Pentose phosphate pathway
- Degradation and synthesis of amino acids, urea cycle.
- Degradation and synthesis of purines and pyrimidines.
- Principles of system biology.
Nelson e Cox
I PRINCI DI BIOCHIMICA DI LEHNINGER
Appling, Anthony-Cahill e Mathews
BIOCHIMICA: Molecole e Metabolismo
All the suggested textbooks have an original English version.
The course will take place according to the University’s instruction in the current health emergency (blended in-person and remote on the Teams platform; video recordings)
Assessment methods and criteria
The exam consists of a written test followed, after about a week, by an oral interview. If the regulations for the containment of the Covid-19 pandemic will allow it, the examination will be carried out in person. The 30-minutes written test consists of 3-4 open-ended questions that will require schematic answers aimed at clarifying the knowledge of the biological macromolecules, the mechanisms of enzymatic reactions and the reactions of the metabolic pathways. The candidate's ability to solve a biochemical problem will also be evaluated. The oral examination, open only to the students that passed the written test, will focus on the entire content of the course. The final mark for the Biochemistry module will be an overall evaluation of the two tests.
Students diagnosed with a specific learning disorder (SLD), certified in accordance with law 170/2010, will be granted the means allowed by law.