A.Y. 2019/2020
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The educational objective of teaching is to develop knowledge related:
- outline the general picture of cellular metabolism
- to know and explain at the molecular, subcellular, cellular and tissue levels the biochemical mechanisms of biological phenomena
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course, the student must be able to:
1. Analyse how proteins interact with other molecules
2. Linking the structural properties of a fibrous protein such as collagen with its function
3. Relate the structural properties of two globular proteins, haemoglobin and myoglobin, with their function
Biological enzymes and catalysis
1. Describe the process of enzyme catalysis
2. Explain the different mechanisms that control and regulate enzyme activity
3. Describe the principles on which enzyme dosing techniques are based
4. Know the international enzyme classification criteria
Biological membranes
1. Describe the composition and properties of biological membranes
2. Explain the role of biological membranes in defining cell compartmentalisation
3. Know the molecular basis of passive and active facilitated transport processes of ions and molecules through membranes
Energy and mitochondrial functions
1. Demonstrate how the energy released in biological ox/red reaction can be used for the formation of high-energy bonds
2. Illustrate the function of mitochondria and the main mechanisms of its control
3. Explain how oxidation of sugars, fats and proteins produces metabolic energy and recognise the final role of the Krebs cycle in the entire process
Carbohydrates Metabolism
1. Illustrate the energy metabolism of glucose in anaerobic and aerobic conditions
2. Illustrate the main pathways of metabolic glucose use and explain the meaning the formation of the carbohydrate reserves and the shunt of hexose monophosphate
3. Know the metabolic pathways of galactose, fructose, ac. glucuronic and amino sugars
4. Know the mechanisms of regulation of various metabolic processes of carbohydrates
5. Relate the structural properties of proteoglycans, glycoproteins and glycolipids with their functional role
Lipid Metabolism
1. correlate the structural characteristics of the different lipids to their functions
2. Illustrate the main ways of synthesising and degrading fatty acids,
triglycerides and major complex lipids
3. Know how triglycerides are accumulated and used
4. Illustrate cholesterol metabolism and its regulation
5. Explain the mechanisms by which lipids are conveyed in different districts body's body
Metabolism of amino acids
1. Know the different metabolic possibilities of amino acids
2. Know how our bodies are able to use and remove the amino group in form of urea
3. Demonstrate how the carbon skeleton of amino acids can be used to energy purpose or for the synthesis of carbohydrates or fatty acids
4. Illustrate the process of incorporation of amino acids into proteins and its regulation
Nucleotide metabolism
1. Describe the biosynthesis pathways of nucleotides and explain the role of coenzymes in them involved
2. Describe nucleotide degradation pathways and explain biochemical causes uric acid increase
Metabolic correlations and tissue biochemistry
1. Describe inter- and intracellular communication mechanisms
2. Describe the structure, biosynthesis and secretion of hormones
3. Describe signalling mechanisms through membranes
4. Know the organization of metabolism in the feeding and fasting phases (regulation of glycogen metabolism, glycolysis, gluconeogenesis and ketogenesis)
5. Know the peculiarity of the metabolism of different tissues:
a. liver (including the production of bile pigments and metabolism ethanol)
b. fatty tissue
c. blood (including the transport of gases, plasma proteins, blood pathological haemoglobins, iron homeostasis, mechanisms
of production and elimination of free radicals and clotting)
Nutrition Biochemistry
1. Identifying the nutritional principles and knowing the caloric value of the different nutrients
2. Evaluate energy demands in different physiological situations (basal and functional metabolism)
3. Indicate the characteristics of an appropriate diet and analyse its role in maintaining of homeostasis
4. Explain the biological role of essential nutrients
Biochemical indicators of integrated functions
1. Explain the biochemical basis of blood sugar homeostasis
2. Know how terminal catabolites are transported and eliminated
3. Discuss the biochemical basis of diabetes mellitus and dyslipidaemia
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Course syllabus
· Protein: structure and functions
· Bioavailability and metabolic turnover of proteins
· Protein: haemoglobin and myoglobin
· Plasma proteins
· Collagen
· Enzymes
· Introduction to metabolism: energy metabolism and hints of thermodynamics
· Respiratory chain and oxidative phosphorylation
· Energy sources: energy catabolism
· Glycolysis
· Mitochondrial Beta oxidation and extra- mitochondrial oxidation of fatty acids
· Krebs cycle
· Metabolism of ethanol
· Energy reserves: meaning and description
· Glucose reserves: glycogen
· Glycogen synthesis and lysis
· Pentose 5-phophate cycle
· Metabolism of erythrocytes
· Metabolism of galactose, fructose and other sugars
· Hexosamine and mucopolysaccharides
· Nitrogen metabolism: proteins as a source of nitrogen
· Protein as a source of energy: catabolism of amino acids
· Gluconeogenesis
· Conversion of glucides: biosynthesis of fatty acids
· Cholesterol: synthesis, transport and catabolism
· Lipoproteins
· Ketogenesis
· Synthesis of phospholipids and glycolipids
· Synthetic of proteins and glycoproteins
· Nucleotide metabolism
· Fast-feeding cycles
· Hormones
· Vitamins and minerals
· Nutrient absorption and digestion
· Diet and metabolic homeostasis
· Biochemical aspects of protein/energy malnutrition
· Biochemical bases of diabetes mellitus and dyslipidaemia
Prerequisites for admission
To have passed the "Chemistry and Biochemistry Propaedeutic" exam
Teaching methods
· Frontal lessons
· Classroom exercises
Teaching Resources
·Devlin M.T. "Biochimica con aspetti clinici" - Idelson-Gnocchi
·Lieberman M, Marks A. Biochimica medica. Un approccio clinico. - Casa Ed Ambrosiana
·Murray R.K., Granner D.K., Mayes P.A., Rodwell V.W. "Harper - Biochimica" - McGraw-Hill
·Siliprandi N. & Tettamanti G. "BIOCHIMICA MEDICA - Strutturale, metabolica, funzionale" - Piccin
·Berg JM, Tymoczko JL , Stryer "Biochimica"- Zanichelli
·Baynes JW, Dominiczack MH. Biochimica per le discipline biomediche - Casa Ed Ambrosiana
·Nelson DL, Cox MM. I principi di biochimica di Lehninger.- Zanichelli
Assessment methods and Criteria
· Written test: questionnaire with 60 multiple choice questions; time available: 2 hours
· Rating: number of exact answers equal to or greater than 36
· Test results communicated by "Verbalization of Exams" application
BIO/10 - BIOCHEMISTRY - University credits: 12
Informal teaching: 32 hours
Lessons: 120 hours
by appointment
Dept L. Sacco, LITA fourth floor, biochemistry labs