Select Academic Year:     2017/2018 2018/2019 2019/2020 2020/2021 2021/2022 2022/2023
Ciclo Annuale Unico 
Teaching style
Lingua Insegnamento

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;
- production and maintenance of the energy.

Applying knowledge and understanding:
The student will gain the capability to apply by yourself the analytical knowledge of the cellular metabolic processes and hi will be able to utilize the basic knowledge assimilated during the course in order to understand other disciplines.

Making judgements: learning the fundamental concepts of Biochemistry will consolidate the student's scientific culture and therefore it will allow the autonomous making judgements both in their workplace and outside of it.

Communication skills: The student will be able to expose and explain, in a simple but rigorous way, even a non-expert audience, and the molecular processes that underlie living systems.

Learning skills: The student will be able to link and integrate the knowledge learned with that provided in previous and subsequent courses.


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


• 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. Ionization of the peptides/proteins. The four levels of structural organization of the proteins. Helix structures,  sheets and  turns. Fibrous proteins. Tertiary structure and globular proteins. denaturation and renaturation processes. Polymeric proteins.
• Hemoproteins. The heme moiety and the Oxygen binding with myoglobin and hemoglobin. Allosteric properties of the hemoglobin, modulators of the oxygen binding.
• 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 purinic and pyrimidinic bases. The nucleotides. The double helix structure of the DNA, ribosomial RNA, messanger RNA and transfer RNA, structural characteristics and biological role.
• Lipids. Classification, glycerophospholipids, sphingolipids, cholesterol. Structure and functions. The biological membranes.
• Enzymes. Classification and properties of the enzymes. The kinetic of the enzymes. Factors modifying the enzymatic rate. Significance of Km, Vmax and Kcat. Classification of the inhibitors, irreversible inhibition and the reversible inhibitors, effects on Km and Vmax. The Micaelis-Menten equation and the interpretation of the graphics. Double reciprocal plot. Mechanisms of enzyme catalysis, examples. Regulation of the enzyme activity in vivo.
• Vitamins. Hydrosoluble vitamins, their co-enzymatic derivatives, how they work in the metabolic reactions.
• Bioenergetics. Thermodynamic of the biological reactions. G, G0 and Keq. Compounds with high hydrolysis energy, phosphorylation at the substrate level and ATP cycle.
• Oxidative phosphorylation. The respiratory mitochondrial chain, its components and their organization. The chemiosmotic theory. ATP synthesis.
• Glucidic metabolism. Glycolysis. Lactic and alcoholic fermentations. Metabolism of the pyruvate. Gluconeogenesis. Biosynthesis and degradation of the glycogen.
• Krebs cycle. Chemicals reactions and their metabolic regulation.
• Metabolism of the lipids. Degradation of fatty acids: -oxidation, hormonal and metabolic regulation. Ketogenesis.
• 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.

Teaching Methods

The duration of the course is about 10-12 weeks (6 hours of lessons/week). The course provided for 64 h (8CFU) that comprise:
- 56 h of frontal lessons: 22 h on the structure of the biomolecules and their biological properties (carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids, amino acids and proteins, hemoglobin); 14 h on the enzymology and on the structure and function of the coenzymes; 20 h on the bioenergetics and on the metabolism.
- 4 h will be devoted to tests on the learning of the arguments done.
- Exercitations, with a tutor, in the class room on the biomolecule structures, acid-base properties of amino acids and peptides, interpretation of the binding curves of the hemoglobin, enzymatic kinetics and determination of the DeltaG0 of the metabolic reactions.

Verification of learning

The student evaluation consists of two written tests and one oral.
During the course will be carried out the following written tests:
1) Structure and acid-base properties of amino acids and peptides; structure of sugars, lipids, nucleotides and nucleic acids; biological membranes. The student must to be able to write the biomolecule structures and to know their properties. The student must be able to interpret the titration curve of an amino acid, and as is the dissociation of an amino acid/peptide as function of pH. He must be able to write the structures of amino acids, sugars, nucleotides and lipids, the linkages and interactions that can make to generate the biological macromolecules. This knowledge is essential in order to discuss issues related metabolism.
2) Properties of respiratory proteins, oxygen binding and modulation. Interpretation of binding curves. Enzyme properties; enzymatic kinetic, Micaelis-Menten equation; inhibition and regulation, interpretation of the graphs; mechanisms of catalysis. Structure and action mechanism of the coenzymes; bioenergetics of the metabolic reactions. The student must demonstrate to understand the relationship between protein structure and biological activity by interpretation of the dissociation curves of respiratory proteins, and the enzyme kinetics graphics. He must also be proficient in understanding and applying the fundamental kinetic parameters. It also requires that the student knows the mechanism by which the co-enzymes participate in enzymatic reactions, the calculation of ΔG of metabolic reactions.
The tests will be assessed by a vote of thirty, vows, if sufficient, and at the discretion of the student, will be considered for the final evaluation exam. When the student will do the exam, hi can, in any case, repeat the tests not sufficient or those with bad mark in order to improve them.
The examination is completed by passing an oral exam that asks students to write the metabolic reactions, to know the structure of metabolites and the reaction mechanism of the central passages, as well as their adjustment and integration.

The score of the examination shall be awarded by a mark out of thirty, which will be the result of the weighted mean of the scores of written tests (3.5 + 2 CFU) and of the oral exam (3.5 CFU).
To pass the exam, the student must bring a vote of not less of 18/30, hi must demonstrate to have acquired sufficient knowledge to know how to write the structure of amino acids, sugars and most common lipids, and nucleotides, in knowing how to write the ester bonds, anhydride, glycoside, emiacethalic, peptide bonds. Hi must demonstrate to have acquired a basic knowledge on enzyme kinetics and to be able to write the reactions of the main metabolic pathways and describe the reaction mechanisms of the following coenzymes: NAD, FAD, TPP, PLP.
To achieve a score of 30/30 cum laude, the student must show instead that it has acquired an excellent knowledge of all topics covered during the course.


- Tymoczko, Berg, Stryer, Biochimica, (VII ed.) Zanichelli (2010)
- Horton, Moran, Scrimgeour, Perry, Rawn, Principi di biochimica (IV ed.) Pearson-Prentice Hall (2008).

More Information

Lesson slides will be provided as PDF file.

Questionnaire and social

Share on:
Impostazioni cookie