BIOCHEMISTRY AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY
Learning outcomes of the course unit
To understand, to acquire skills and to be able to communicate relevant concepts concerning:
structure and functions of the main bio-molecules (proteins, nucleic acids, enzymes and co-enzymes);
the mechanisms of metabolic energy production, energetic and structural homeostasis of living cells, the molecular mechanisms of genetic information,
Before taking the exam of "Biochimica e Biologia Molecolare" students have to pass:
Chimica e propedeutica Biochimica
Course contents summary
The course introduce relevant information and knowledge on the main molecules constituting living organisms. The course is organized in 3 modules:
Biochemistry A: Proteins: structure and functions. Myoglobin, hemoglobin and oxygen transport. Enzymes and enzyme kinetics. Cofactors and coenzymes used in metabolic reactions. Bioenergetics and biological oxidation. ATP, structure and functions. Reducing power, oxidative phosphorylation, the role of oxygen metabolism.
Biochemistry C: Structure functions and mechanism of action of vitamins. Biochemical mechanisms of blood coagulation. Biochemical mechanisms of calcium homeostasis.
MOLECULAR BIOLOGY: The course provides basic knowledge on the molecular aspects of the transmission of genetic information. The course initially introduces the basics of the concept of inheritance, and then introduces nucleic acids as molecules able to ensure the transmission of the genetic information through DNA replication, RNA transcription and proteins translation. Then will be introduced the concepts of DNA damage/mutation and the impact of DNA mutation on human health. Finally the course will provide the basis for the knowledge of the main techniques used for DNA/RNA manipulation, and their application in various fields of research, diagnosis, forensic medicine and treatment of human diseases.
Folding and protein stability, structural motifs and protein classifications. Protein-ligand interaction, protein folding diseases. BIOCHEMISTRY A: Myoglobin, hemoglobin and oxygen transport. Enzymes and enzyme kinetics. Cofactors and coenzymes used in metabolic reactions. Bioenergetics and biological oxidation. ATP, structure and functions. Reducing power, oxidative phosphorylation, the role of oxygen in metabolism.
Structure functions and mechanism of action of liposoluble vitamins. Biochemical mechanisms of : light perception, blood coagulation, calcium homeostasis.
MOLECULAR BIOLOGY: From Darwin to Mendel to the discovery of the transforming principle: bases of the transmission of genetic information.
Nucleic acids: composition and structure.
3D structure of DNA, DNA topology: coiling and supercoiling.
Histones, chromatin, chromosomes.
Basics of epigenetic modifications of DNA and histones.
DNA replication: characteristics of DNA polymerases, replication mechanism.
Drugs that interfere with the replication process.
Replication forks, replisome assembly, replication coupling mechanisms.
Origin of replication, mechanism of origins control in eukaryotes.
Termination of replication.
The ends of linear chromosomes: telomerase.
DNA damage and mutations.
Mechanisms of damage repair: direct, indirect, double-strand break repair mechanisms.
RNA transcription in eukaryotes: characteristics of RNA polymerases, formation of the initiation complex, elongation, termination of transcription.
Characteristics of prokaryotic and eukaryotic promoters.
Regulation of gene expression in eukaryotes.
RNA maturation: capping, splicing, tailing, editing.
Notes on RNA interference.
From RNA to proteins: mechanisms and enzymes of messenger RNA translation. The genetic code.
Translation of messenger mRNA: molecules and enzymes involved.
t-RNA, ribosomes, aminoacyl-tRNAsynthetase
Stages of translation: initiation, elongation, termination.
Drugs that interfere with the protein translation process.
Nelson DL, Cox MM: I principi di Biochimica di Lehninger, Zanichelli, Bologna.
JD Watson et al.: Biologia Molecolare del gene. Zanichelli, Bologna.
G. Capranico, E. Martegani, G. Musci, G. Raugei, T. Russo, N. Zambrano, V. Zappavigna. Edises
Lieberman, Marks: Biochimica Medica, un approccio clinico. Casa Editrice Ambrosiana, Milano.
Devlin TM: Biochimica con aspetti clinici. Wiley-Liss, New York.
Garrett RH, Grisham CM: Biochimica. Piccin, Padova.
Murray RK, Granner DK, Mayes PA, Rodwell VW; Harper Biochimica, McGraw-Hill Libri Italia srl, Milano.
Voet D, Voet JG: Biochimica John Wiley & Sons, USA.
Lectures will be held on-site in compliance with safety standards, provided that further instructions on the ongoing health emergency are not implemented.
Lectures will be supported by slide presentations and videos, promoting the molecular approach which will be available to students on Elly platform.
Assessment methods and criteria
The exam consists in a written test with closed answers, made of 30 multiple choice questions, twenty of which concerning the program of Biochemistry and the remaining ten on the Molecular Biology program. Time allowed for the test is 60 minutes; in the first 20 minutes the students are allowed to quit, returning the test to the commission. Each positive answer contributes with 1 point to the final grade (0-30/30). There is no penalty for incorrect answers. In case of a positive result, you can choose whether to proceed with the recording of the grade or to take an oral exam.
In case of the persistence of the health emergency, the exams will be conducted remotely, by means of a structured written test (by Teams and/or Elly). The test consists of 6 open-ended questions on all the course contents (reference texts + documents uploaded to Elly during the course).
Students with SLD / BSE must first contact Le Eli-che: support for students with disabilities, D.S.A., B.E.S. (https://sea.unipr.it/it/servizi/le-eli-che-supporto-studenti-con-disabil...).