The course aims to provide a basic knowledge on : (i) structure-to-function relationships among biological (macro)molecules; (ii) energy flux in the cell; (iii) mechanism of action of selected protein classes, with special emphasis on enzymes; (iv) main metabolic pathways, with special reference to their roles, logic of construction and regulation.
-Bioelements, biomolecules and macromolecules. Water as the biological solvent. Role of weak interactions and pH in macromolecular structure and function.
-Nucleic acids: structure and physico-chemical properties of nucleotides , DNA and RNA.
- Proteins: Structure and properties of amino acids. The peptide bond. Polypeptides. Protein structure (primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary structure; domains and motifs). Solution properties of proteins. An introduction to protein purification and structural characterization.
- Protein folding. Achievement of protein 3D structure: the folding process. -
- The basics of the biochemistry of DNA replication and transcription and Protein synthesis.
- Oxygen transport proteins: structure-function relations in myoglobin and hemoglobin.
- Enzymes: principles of enzyme catalysis; cofactors and coenzymes; Stereospecificity and stereochemical control of catalysis.
- Chemical kinetics and enzyme kinetics. Transition state theory. Steady-state kinetics and meaning of kinetic paramenters. The Michaelis-Menten equation
- Inhibition and allosteric regulation of enzymes.
- Classification of biological reactions; reaction mechanisms of selected key enzymes.
- Energy changes in biological processes: free energy changes, chemical equilibria, relation between free energy change and oxidoreduction potential. Coupled reactions. Energy flux and high-energy compounds. ATP and metabolic role of phosphate transfer reactions.
- Metabolism: basic aspects of metabolic pathways and methods. Glycolysis and fermetations. The pyruvate dehydrogenase reaction. The Krebs cycle. The oxidative phosphorylation. Glycogen metabolism. Gluconeogenesis. Pentose phosphate shunt. Fatty acid metabolism. Amino acids and urea metabolism.
Regulation of main metabolic pathways.
- Nelson D.L. & Cox M.M. - Lehninger's Principles of Biochemistry, Worth Publishers
- Voet D. & Voet, J.G. - Biochemistry, Wiley & Sons.
Textbooks, reading material and complementary teaching material
Copies of the slides projected in the classroom as well as other materials will be made available through the course website on the ARIEL platform of the University of Milano (http://ariel.ctu.unimi.it
). By no means these materials substitute for the lectures or a textbook. The material is made available only to registered students of the Degree Course in Biological Sciences and should not be distributed to others.
Required Preliminary knowledge
Students must be fully proficient (i.e. they are asked to have passed the respective first year exams) in General and inorganic chemistry and in Organic chemistry; Physical-chemistry; other courses in the first year provide additional useful cultural bases.