Biochemistry and fundamentals of human biochemistry

A.Y. 2017/2018
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course aims to provide the knowledge necessary for the understanding of the biochemical processes underlying cell function and body.
Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge and understanding of a) structure and functions of macromolecules, mainly referring to proteins; b) composition organization and dynamics of biological membranes, mainly referring to membrane transport e signal transduction mechanisms; c) cell metabolism, regulation and integration of metabolic pathways in human cells.
At the end of the course, student will acquire the capacity to understand the relationship between tissue metabolism and function; the ability to recognize and predict metabolic adaptation to altered environmental conditions (including fuel availability) also in view of following courses, such as general pathology and farmacology.
The acquisition of these knowledges and skills will be certified by passing the exam
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Course syllabus
The biochemical logic of living matter
Cellular, chemical, physical, genetic and evolutionary bases.
Water and weak interactions in aqueous systems
Proteins. Structure and function.
Structural elements and three-dimensional protein organization.
Fibrous proteins: structural proteins. Collagen, keratin.
Globular proteins.
Kinetic and thermodynamic folding of proteins, assisted folding: disulfide isomerase, chaperonine.
Oxygen-bound proteins: myoglobin and hemoglobin.
Oxygen transport in the blood
Immunoglobulins: Antigen-antibody interaction.
Enzymes: how enzymes work; Co-enzymes and water-soluble vitamins; Factors affecting enzymatic activity; Enzymatic kinetics; Regulation of enzymatic activity.
Compartmentation and Communication in Biochemical Processes
Biological membranes, composition, organization and dynamics of membranes.
Transmission systems of molecules and ions through the membrane.
Biosignalization: Signal translation mechanisms.
Membrane receptors coupled to G protein and second messengers; Receptors with enzymatic activity, protein domains, and multiprotein complexes in signal translation
Introduction to Metabolism.
Metabolism organization: catabolism and anabolism.
Principles of bioenergy.
Compounds with high energy content; Transfer of phosphorous groups and ATP.
Organic oxides.
Oxidative phosphorylation
Transport of electrons into mitochondria; ATP synthesis; ATP-ADP translocated.
Adjustment of oxidative phosphorylation.
Mono- and disaccharides; polysaccharides.
Digestion and absorption of carbohydrates.
Glycolysis: the fate of anaerobic and aerobic pyruvate.
Adjustment of glycolysis.
Common intermediate acetyl-CoA of oxidative processes.
Tricarboxylic acid cycle and its regulation.
Synthesis and degradation of glycogen.
Glycogenolysis and glycogen synthesis regulation.
Shunt of exotic monophosphate, interconversion of saccharides and their regulation.
Proteoglycans, glycolipid glycoproteins.
The oligosaccharide chains in the cellular information mechanisms.
Simple lipids and complex lipids.
Essential lipids.
Digestion and lipid absorption
Lipid transport: lipoproteins.
Lipolysis, oxidation of fatty acids and their regulation.
Formation of the ketone bodies.
Biosynthesis of fatty acids and triglycerides and their regulation.
Cholesterol metabolism and its regulation.
Cholesterol Derivatives: biliary acids, steroid hormones
Phospholipids and glycolipids: metabolism and function
Lipids as signal molecules: eicosanoids, sphingolipid mediators
Proteins and Nitrogen Compounds *
Digestion and protein absorption.
Biological value of proteins.
Essential amino acids.
Nitrogen balance.
Turnover and intracellular protein degradation.
Synthesis and degradation of amino acids.
Glucose and ketogenic amino acids.
Ammonia metabolism.
Urea cycle.
gluconeogenesis; Coordinated regulation of gluconeogenesis and glycolysis.
Molecules derived from amino acids.
Creatine, biogenic amines, nitrogen oxides.
Synthesis and degradation of the eme group.
Synthesis and degradation of purine and pyrimidine nucleotides.
Uric acid.
Adjustment of transcription: Growth factors and steroid hormones.
PI3K / Akt signaling path
Cell cycle regulation: cyclin and cyclin-dependent kinase kinases
Oncogenes, tumor suppressors. Planned cell death.

* The nucleic acid biosynthesis (RNA and DNA) and proteins and regulation of gene expression will be treated in the course of Molecular Biology

Nutrition Principles
Energy requirements, macronutrients, water-soluble and liposoluble vitamins, trace elements.
Hormone regulation and metabolic integration in humans
Hormone structures, functions.
Hormonal regulation of energy metabolism.
Homeostasis concept; Interrelations and metabolic integrations between different tissues; Fast-feeding cycle, prolonged fasting and stress conditions, exercise.
Basic acid balance and its regulation.
Calcium homeostasis: cellular and systemic homeostasis
Iron metabolism
Sensory systems
Molecular mechanisms of vision, smell, taste, and tact
Oxygen Reactivity
The reactive species of oxygen, nitrogen and oxidative stress
Damage caused by radicals
Antioxidant defenses
BIO/10 - BIOCHEMISTRY - University credits: 11
Lessons: 88 hours