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Informazioni aggiuntive

Course Curriculum CFU Length(h)


Knowledge and understanding:
The aim of the course is the understanding of the molecular basis of biological systems, and of the biochemical mechanisms that regulate the cellular metabolic activities by the knowledge of:
- structure, properties, function, interactions and metabolic reactions of the bio-molecules; functionality and regulation of the enzymes
- molecular mechanisms of the gene expression; genome analysis

Applying knowledge and understanding:
The student will be able to write structures of the main classes of biomolecules and their chemical bonds; to interpret the titration curves of amino acids; to interpret and elaborate binding curves, such as that of the respiratory proteins, and enzymatic kinetic (Micaelis/Menten; allosteric enzymes); to apply knowledge and understanding of structures, chemical bonds and properties of the biomolecules to study metabolic reaction mechanisms; to elaborate and integrate the different metabolic pathways in a unique view. To elaborate molecular mechanisms to understand the basis of the genome studies.

Making judgements
Learning the fundamental concepts of biochemistry and molecular biology will consolidate the student scientific culture and therefore it will allow the autonomous making judgements for the interpretation of the experimental data and in the deepening of their knowledge both in their work area and outside it.

Communication skills
The student will acquire the ability to expose and explain in a simple but rigorous manner and with the appropriate technical language the molecular processes underlying the living systems.

Learning skills
The student will acquire the ability to connect and integrate the knowledge learned from those provided in the previous and subsequent courses.


To attend the lessons is essential the knowledge of the basic principles of Inorganic and Organic Chemistry.
To take the exam is necessary to have already done the exam of Organic Chemistry.


Biochemistry (7 CFU)
• Amino acids: Structure and stereochemistry. Classification. Acid-base properties of amino acids: Titration curve, pKa, isoelectric point.
• Peptides and Proteins: Characteristics and properties of the peptide bond. Structural organization of the proteins: secondary, tertiary and quaternary. Fibrous and globular proteins.
• Hemoproteins: myoglobin, hemoglobin and their oxygen binding. Allosteric properties of the hemoglobin, modulators of the oxygen binding.
• Enzymes. Classification and properties of the enzymes. The kinetic of the enzymes. Factors modifying the enzymatic rate. Significance of Km, Vmax. The Michaelis-Menten equation and the interpretation of the graphics. Regulation of the enzyme activity. Inhibitors, irreversible and reversible, effects on Km and Vmax.
• Vitamins. Hydrosoluble vitamins, their co-enzymatic derivatives, how they work in the metabolic reactions.
• Carbohydrates: Nomenclature. Stereochemistry. The hemiacetals, anomeric forms and Haworth projections. Derivatives of the sugars. The glycosidic bond. Disaccharides of biological significance. The polysaccharides. Structure of amylose, amylopectin, glycogen and cellulose.
• Nucleotides and nucleic acids: The purine and pyrimidine bases. The nucleotides. The double helix structure of the DNA, the structure of the RNA.
• Lipids: Classification, glycerophospholipids, sphingolipids, cholesterol. Structure and functions. The biological membranes.
• Glucidic metabolism: Glycolysis and its regulation. Fermentation. Metabolism of the pyruvate. Gluconeogenesis. Biosynthesis and degradation of the glycogen. Hormonal control of the glucidic metabolism. Entering of starch and disaccharides in the glycolysis. The pentose-phosphates cycle.
• Krebs cycle: Chemicals reactions and their metabolic regulation.
• Oxidative phosphorylation. The respiratory mitochondrial chain, its components and their organization. The chemiosmosis theory. ATP synthesis.
• Metabolism of the lipids: Mobilization of fatty acids. β-oxidation, hormonal and metabolic regulation. Ketogenesis. Biosynthesis of the fatty acids.
• Metabolism of the amino acids: Metabolic role of the amino acids. Catabolism of the amino acids. Transamination. Formation of NH3 and its transport, Urea cycle.

Fundamentals of Molecular Biology
• Genes and chromosomes: the chromosomal elements in prokaryotes and eukaryotes; the supercoiling of DNA, the structure of chromosomes;

• DNA metabolism: the replication in prokaryotes and eukaryotes, repair, and recombination;

• RNA metabolism: DNr BiologyA-dependent and RNA-dependent synthesis, post-transcriptional modifications, types of RNA;

• Regulation of gene expression in prokaryotes and eukaryotes: operators, enhancers, operons, promoters, heterochromatin and euchromatin, hormone-mediated activation;

• Protein metabolism: the genetic code, codon and anticodon, protein synthesis, tRNA, rRNA, mRNA, post-translational modifications, protein degradation.

• Methods of analysis and applications.

Teaching Methods

Didact Approach
The course provided for 72 h (56 h biochemistry and 16 h molecular biology) of frontal lessons. The theoretical lessons are accompanied by supplementary didactic activities with theoretical exercises related to the critical reworking of the course contents.
Teacher will provide individual explanations during the reception schedule by appointment.
The lessons will be held in presence, integrated and "augmented" with online strategies.
The slides of the lessons are provided as teaching support.

Verification of learning

The final assessment is made on the basis of oral exam. The evaluation will be expressed in thirtieths.
The biochemistry part includes a mid-term assessment (written test: multiple choice questions and short open-ended questions) (4 CFU). The written test will be assessed with a grade, and if accepted by the student, it will be considered for the final evaluation of the exam.

For what concern the part of Fundamentals of Molecular Biology, includes a mid-term assessmentl examination as “test progress” (written test) during the course.

The final grade considers several factors:
- Quality of the knowledge
- Communication skills
- Relational qualities
Consequently, the assessment can be:
• 18-21: acquiring the minimum knowledge on the topics studied, allowing them to write the structure of the most important biomolecules and to argue the basics of enzymatic kinetics and of the metabolism. Difficulties in solving the proposed analytic problems. Poor language skills and communication skills, skills, judgment autonomy, and just as much learning ability as a whole.
• 22-24: poor acquisition of required knowledge, skills in imprecise and incomplete arguments. Errors in writing structure and ties. Adequate communication skills, autonomy of judgment and appropriate learning skills, even with some uncertainty.
• 25-26: Acquiring the knowledge required and ability to use them in the processing of biochemical topics, albeit with slight gaps, fluid but imprecise exposure. Autonomy of judgment, communicative abilities and discrete learning abilities.
• 27-29: Acquisition of all required knowledge, ability to solve analytic problems. Exposure to the correct but not detailed or inaccurate arguments. Autonomy of judgment, communication skills and good and appropriate learning skills.
• 30: Acquire all the required knowledge, ability to apply them to the resolution of analytic problems proposed in the exams. Precise and impeccable oral exposure to language skills and communicative skills, judgmental autonomy and excellent learning skills.
• 30 cum laude: excellent knowledge of all subjects, accurate, detailed and enriched critical and personal points of view, ability to describe an overview of metabolic processes, excellent communicative ability, broad judgment autonomy, and learning abilities.


- Nelson e Cox, I principi di Biochimica di Lehninger, Zanichelli (Ed. 2018)
- L. Pollegioni, Fondamenti di Biochimica, EdiSES
- Campbell, Farrell, McDougal, Biochimica, EdiSES
- Voet-Voet-Pratt; Fondamenti di Biochimica; Zanichelli
- Jeremy M. Berg, John L. Tymozcko, Gregory J. Gatto, Lubert Stryer, Biochimica; Zanichelli
- Garrett-Grisham; Principi di Biochimica; Piccin
- Mathews-Van Holden-Appling- Anthony Cahill; Biochimica; Piccin

- Nelson e Cox, I principi di Biochimica di Lehninger, Zanichelli (Ed. 2018)

More Information

More Information

Prof. Antonella Fais: Dep. of Environment and Life Science, Biomedical division, Cittadella Universitaria S.S 554 km 0.700 bivio per Sestu, 09042 Monserrato.
phone: 070-675-4506
For appointments, please contact the professor using the e-mail address, phone or Teams
Link Team "CdL STCQ-BIOCHIMICA-Ricevimento studenti"

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