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CODE 62659
  • 8 cfu during the 2nd year of 8746 ODONTOIATRIA E PROTESI DENTARIA (LM-46) - GENOVA
    LANGUAGE Italian
  • SEMESTER 1° Semester
    MODULES This unit is a module of:



    The course aims to address the study of the molecules and transformations responsible for the functioning of the human organism at various levels.
    At the end of the course the student will have acquired knowledge about the metabolic pathways used in the human body to meet the structural, energy and tissue-specific needs of the cells, with reference to the oral environment. In particular, the student will have understood the strategies and the biological purposes that make the various stages of metabolism interdependent; he will know the processes of production and use of energy in the cell and the role played by the mitochondria as well as the mechanisms of regulation of the main enzymatic reactions in relation to the cellular metabolism. Using this knowledge the student will be able to identify and understand some important metabolic processes that regulate the physiology and pathophysiology of tissues and organs that will be described in the next teachings.


    The lessons will be carried out if possible in presence, guaranteeing however the fruition of the lessons even remotely, through video recording, synchronous or asynchronous. All face-to-face activities will be carried out in compliance with the classroom capacity limits and the distance provided for by current legislation following the COVID19 emergency.

    Please refer to the specific AulaWeb application for any updates due to changes in the health and epidemiological situation.


    Protein - Structure and functions of proteins: myoglobin, hemoglobin, muscle contraction, antibodies.
    Enzymology - General structure and classification of enzymes. Coenzymes. Enzyme-substrate interactions. Enzymatic kinetics. Activation energy, transition state. Michaelis-Menten's equation. Meaning of Km, Vmax and kcat. Linear graphs of enzymatic kinetics. Mechanisms of enzymatic regulation. Allosteric enzymes and their kinetics. Cooperative effect. Reversible and irreversible enzymatic inhibition.
    Introduction to metabolism - Anabolism and catabolism. Coupling between exo-endoergonic reactions. Hydrolysis of ATP and phosphate transfer potential.
    Glucose Metabolism - Digestion and absorption of carbohydrates. Metabolic fate of glucose, fructose and galactose. Aerobic and anaerobic glycolysis. Enzymes for glycolytic flow regulation. Phosphofaktokinases 1 and 2. Energy yield of glycolysis. The pathway of pentose phosphates: production of NADPH and ribose-5-phosphate. Glutathione reductase and glutathione peroxidase. Gluconeogenesis: glucose synthesis sites, main precursors and enzymatic reactions. Cori cycle. Glycogen syntesis and glycogenolysis. Hormonal regulation of glucose metabolism.
    Lipid metabolism - Digestion and absorption of lipids. Plasma lipoproteins. Lipolysis and its hormonal regulation. Beta-oxidation of fatty acids. Role of carnitine. Ketogenesis. Biosynthesis of fatty acids, triglycerides, cholesterol. HMG-CoA reductase regulation.
    Amino acid and protein metabolism - Digestion and protein absorption. Intracellular protein degradation. Proteasome. Transamination and deamination. Transport of ammonia to the liver. Alanine cycle. Urea cycle. Glucogenic and ketogenic amino acids.
    Nucleotide metabolism - Digestion of nucleic acids. Degradation of purines and pyrimidines. Salvage pathway to the synthesis of nucleotides.

    Mitochondrial metabolism - Pyruvate dehydrogenase. Citric acid cycle and its metabolic interrelations. Complexes of the mitochondrial respiratory chain. Mitchell's chemo-osmotic theory. Coenzyme Q cycle. Electrochemistry of the respiratory chain. Transport of reducing equivalents in the mitochondria. Respiratory control. Reactive species of cellular oxygen and nitrogen.
    Hormones - General characteristics of hormones of amino acid, peptide and steroid nature. General mechanism of cellular action of hormones based on their structure.
    Vitamins - Water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins: structure, functions and action mechanism.
    Hemostasis biochemistry - Molecular mechanisms of platelet aggregation and blood coagulation.
    Bone biochemistry - Metabolism of calcium and phosphorus. Structure of biological apatites.Calcification and reabsorption mechanism. Role of collagen.
    Dental biochemistry - Molecular mechanisms of tooth enamel formation. Amelogenins. Saliva and its functions. Biochemical basis of caries.


    Voet D., Voet JG., Pratt C.W.-Fundamentals of Biochemistry-ed. Zanichelli

    Nelson D.L., Cox M.M.-Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry-ed. Zanichelli


    Exam Board

    MONICA AVERNA (President)

    ELENA ZOCCHI (President)



    Consult detailed timetable at the following link:

    Class schedule

    All class schedules are posted on the EasyAcademy portal.



    Oral examination

    Please refer to the specific AulaWeb application for any updates due to changes in the health and epidemiological situation.


    Oral examination with assessment of knowledge and ability to link between the various topics in the program. To establish the degree of competence acquired by the students, with respect to the program of this teaching, the commission will positively evaluate the ability to analyze and integrate different aspects of the proposed question and the use of an appropriate vocabulary.

    Exam schedule

    Date Time Location Type Notes
    10/01/2022 10:00 GENOVA Scritto + Orale
    28/01/2022 10:00 GENOVA Scritto + Orale
    18/02/2022 10:00 GENOVA Scritto + Orale L'esame è stato spostato al 25 febbraio!
    25/02/2022 10:00 GENOVA Scritto + Orale
    06/06/2022 09:00 GENOVA Scritto + Orale
    20/06/2022 10:00 GENOVA Scritto + Orale
    07/07/2022 10:00 GENOVA Scritto + Orale
    15/09/2022 10:00 GENOVA Scritto + Orale