Human biochemistry

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
This course is designed to provide the fundamental knowledge to understand the concepts of biochemistry processes that control the functioning and homeostasis of cells and body in physiological and pathophysiological conditions.
Expected learning outcomes
By the end of this course students should be familiar with:
The role of ABC transporters in cell physiology, ABC-related inherited diseases and drug resistance
The role of membrane lipids in cell biology
Physiological aspects of biochemistry, with emphasis on mammalian metabolism, specialized cells and tissues, detoxification mechanisms, energetics, and physiological interrelationships
Biochemical causes of the diseases discussed during the course, as well as current and future opportunities for biochemical-based treatments
Course syllabus and organization

Unique edition

Lesson period
Second trimester
Course syllabus
ABC Transporters
Mechanism of action
Role in cell physiology
Role in drug resistance

In/out asymmetry and lateral asymmetry in pathophysiological processes
Aminophospholipids in membrane fusion, cytokinesis clotting, phagocytosis and apoptosis Phosphosinositides: compartimentalization, vesicular traffic and cell signaling
(Glyco)sphingolipids: Lipid Microdomains, signaling platforms, cell-cell communication

Lipids and cell signaling
Lipid mediators in the control of cell proliferation, death and migration: Ceramide , Sphingosine-1-phosphate and Diacylglicerol
"Omics" in lipid signaling

Tissue-specific metabolic processes:
Lipoproteins, structure, metabolism, and their role in the regulation of lipid homeostasis. Structural and metabolic alterations of lipoproteins and atherosclerosis.
adipose tissue
metabolic adaptation in physiological conditions (metabolic diseases, aging....)

Biochemistry of the nervous system:
Metabolism and functions: neurons-glia interactions.
Specialized functions of cells of the nervous system
Cell models for the study of biochemical processes in cells of the nervous system

Biochemistry of cancer:
Metabolic processes in the tumor cells
Aberrant glycosylation in the tumor
Cell models

Laboratory sections:
Characterization of lipid composition in cell extracts
Prerequisites for admission
Being an exam of the second trimester of the first year, there are no specific prerequisites other than those required for access to the degree course
Teaching methods
Teachers will mainly give frontal lectures. During the course, group works will be carried out on specific subjects of the programme. For this activity the students will be organized in small groups to develop the topic and lead the class discussion on the subject. The course also includes single workstation laboratory activities focused on lipid biochemistry.
Teaching Resources
During the course bibliographic references on the topics presented will be provided by the teachers.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The assessment of whether the expected learning outcomes have been achieved is based on an oral exam organised in interviews with the different teachers on the topics they are dealing with. The exam, in addition to the assessment of knowledge, is aimed at ascertaining the ability to organize and integrate the knowledge acquired, the exposition skills and the proper use of specialist language.
Marks are expressed in thirtieths and will be composed of the weighted average of the marks obtained in the different interviews.
An intermediate (optional) open-answer test on cell biochemistry topics is planned. The mark of the intermediate test contributes to the final grade instead of the interview on cell biochemistry. The results of the intermediate test are communicated anonymously through the Ariel platform.
BIO/10 - BIOCHEMISTRY - University credits: 9
Practicals: 24 hours
Lessons: 53 hours