Learning outcomes of the course unit
Biochemistry is the science dealing with the molecular basis of life. Biochemistry deals with composition, structure and function of molecules typical of living organisms and with the chemical reactions that occur in these organisms. The course will provide students with fundamental concepts regarding: the relationship between structure and function in biological macromolecules, including globular and fibrous proteins, antibodies, enzymes and nucleic acids; metabolic transformations of nutrients; bioenergetics; properties of biological membranes; primary mechanisms of preservation, transmission and translation into protein of the information contained in genes.
Basic knowledge of chemistry and biology
Course contents summary
Amino acids. Peptide bond. Primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary structure of proteins. `Folding’ and 'unfolding' of proteins. Antibodies: structure and function. Structural proteins: collagen. Enzymes: overview of the mechanism of action of enzymes and enzyme kinetics.
Lipids: classification and properties. Lipids as structural components of membranes: glycerophospholipids, sphingolipids and cholesterol. Lipids with energy reserve function.
Overview of Bioenergetics. “High energy” compounds. ∆G of individual exoergonic and endoergonic metabolism reactions. Exoergonic and endoergonic metabolic sequences.
Carbohydrate metabolism. Glycolysis. Pentose cycle. Alcoholic and lactic acid fermentation. Glycogenolysis and glycogenosynthesis. Pyruvate dehydrogenase complex. Krebs (tricarboxylic acid) cycle. Anaplerotic reactions: pyruvate carboxylase. Gluconeogenesis.
Overview of lipid metabolism. Fatty acid beta-oxydation. Ketonic bodies and ketogenesis. Citrate transport system. Synthesis of saturated fatty acids.
Overview of amino acid metabolism. Role and mechanism of transaminase action. Degradation of amino acids. Correlation of amino acid metabolism with carbohydrate and lipid metabolism.
Respiratory chain and oxidative phosphorylation.
Overview of the preservation, expression and transmission of genic information. DNA as repository of gene information. DNA replication and transcription. Diversification of the function and role of ribosomal, transport and messenger RNA (r-RNA, t-RNA, m-RNA). The genetic code. Protein synthesis: translation.
HORTON, MORAN, SCRIGEOUR, PERRY e RAWN: "Principi di Biochimica" - Pearson Paravia Bruno Mondadori S.p.A.
COZZANI e DAINESE: “Biochimica degli alimenti e della nutrizione” - Piccin Editore
Classroom lectures with the use of multimedia equipment.
Written exam followed by final oral exam.