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CODE 58031
ACADEMIC YEAR 2023/2024
CREDITS
SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR BIO/10
LANGUAGE Italian
TEACHING LOCATION
  • GENOVA
SEMESTER 2° Semester
MODULES Questo insegnamento è un modulo di:
TEACHING MATERIALS AULAWEB

AIMS AND CONTENT

AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES

Upon completion of the course, the student will:

    know in depth the structure and function of proteins, demonstrating an understanding of how properties influence their function in physiological states and disease;
    know the main types of biochemical reactions that occur within organisms, to explain their mechanisms, energy changes, the role of enzymes and regulatory mechanisms;
    know the main metabolic pathways, their functional significance and regulatory mechanisms and have understood the biochemical specificities of different tissues and the metabolic interactions between organs;
    apply acquired knowledge of general mechanisms of metabolic regulation to explain cellular and organismal responses in response to the action of hormones, during fasting and fed state and their alterations in some disease states used as models (diabetes, cancer cells);
    critically evaluate how biochemical alterations due to disease states can be analyzed through laboratory investigations;
    know how to describe biochemical processes adequately and with correct terminology for identification of molecules.

 

TEACHING METHODS

Teaching includes lectures on topics in structural, metabolic and functional biochemistry that will be given by Professors Bruzzone and Tonetti

SYLLABUS/CONTENT

Part 1: Structural Biochemistry

    Structure and function of proteins
    Proteins: classification and functions
    Conjugated proteins: hemoglobin
    The quality control of proteins
    Biological catalysts (enzymes): mechanisms of catalysis and classification; enzyme coenzymes and cofactors; enzyme kinetics; enzyme inhibition, with examples of enzyme inhibitory drugs

Part 2: Metabolism and major metabolic pathways

    Metabolism and bioenergetics: ATP, high-energy compounds, the biological reactions of oxidoreduction
    General principles of control of enzyme activities and regulation of metabolic pathways.  The role of allosteric enzymes in the limiting steps of metabolic pathways. Reversible covalent modifications (phosphorylation/dephosphorylation).
    Glucose metabolism:
        glycolysis: functional role, reactions and regulation; aerobic and anaerobic glycolysis;
        gluconeogenesis: functional role, reactions and regulation; role of F2,6BP in the regulation of glycolysis/gluconeogenesis;
        glycogen metabolism: synthesis and degradation pathways, functional role and regulation;
        pentose phosphate cycle: reactions (with formulas), functional role and regulation; reactive oxygen species and defense mechanisms from oxidative stress and genetic defect of G6PD;
        utilization of fructose and galactose
    Pyruvate dehydrogenase: enzymatic role and mechanism (with formulas). Alcoholic fermentation.
    Citric acid cycle: functional role, reactions and regulation
    Cytosol/mytochondrial shuttle systems.
    Oxidative phosphorylation: standard reduction potentials, ΔE and ΔG, the proton gradient, structure and function of respiratory chain complexes, ATP-synthase, mitochondrial thermogenesis.
    Lipid metabolism:
        Triglycerides, digestion and absorption; complex lipid transport through lipoproteins, lipoprotein lipases; lipolysis in adipose tissue
        fatty acid activation and transport in mitochondria; fatty acid oxidation, functional role, reactions, and regulation; degradation of unsaturated and odd-number chain C fatty acids;
        fatty acid synthesis: correlations between mitochondria and cytosol, synthesis reactions, regulation;
        glyceroneogenesis
        cholesterol synthesis and regulation; cholesterol as a precursor for other molecules;
        glycerophospholipid synthesis, phospholipases and their role in the generation of signal molecules; cyclooxygenases and the synthesis of eicosanoids (hint)
    Ketone bodies: functional role, synthesis reactions and utilization systems in peripheral tissues.
    Amino acid metabolism:
        Metabolic fate of amino groups, transaminases and glutamic dehydrogenase;
        transport of amino groups to the liver: glutamine and alanine-pyruvate cycle;
        urea cycle
    Nucleotide metabolism:
        de novo and recovery synthesis of purine and pyrimidine nucleotides; the formation of diphosphate and triphosphate nucleotides;
        purine degradation and uric acid (hint);
        deoxyribonucleotide formation: ribonucleotide reductase, thymidylate synthase;
        folate cycle; SAM cycle
        metabolism of dinucleotide coenzymes

Part 3: Hormonal regulation and integration of metabolism

    Biosignaling and general characteristics of signal transduction
    Synthesis, release and mechanism of action of insulin and glucagon
    Metabolic effects of extrapancreatic hormones: adrenaline, steroid hormones, thyroid hormones
    Hormonal control of metabolism: effects of insulin, glucagon, steroid hormones, adipokines;
    Blood glucose control, fasting and fed state
    Metabolic interactions between organs
    Hints of the biochemistry of nutrition

 

RECOMMENDED READING/BIBLIOGRAPHY

All slides used during lectures and other lecture materials will be available on Aulaweb. In general, the notes taken during the lectures and the material on Aulaweb are sufficient for exam preparation.

The book listed below is suggested as a supporting text, but students may still use other college-level Biochemistry texts as well, as long as they are editions published within the last 5 years. Copies of the text are available for reference at the School of Medical and Pharmaceutical Sciences Library

Nelson DL and Cox MM Lehninger's Principles of Biochemistry, Zanichelli

 

TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD

Exam Board

SANTINA BRUZZONE (President)

MICHELA TONETTI (President)

ELENA ZOCCHI (President)

MIRKO BENVENUTI

GIANLUCA DAMONTE (President and Coordinator of Integrated Course)

LESSONS

LESSONS START

For lessons start and timetable go to the link: https://easyacademy.unige.it/portalestudenti/

Please check the module Aulaweb page for timetable updates dependent on the sanitary and epidemic situation

Class schedule

L'orario di tutti gli insegnamenti è consultabile all'indirizzo EasyAcademy.

EXAMS

EXAM DESCRIPTION

The examination consists of an oral test. The final grade will be calculated on the basis of the weighted average of the grades obtained in the Biochemistry Propaedeutics (6 CFU), Biochemistry (10 CFU) and Clinical Biochemistry (1 CFU) portions. The Biochemistry and Clinical Biochemistry tests must be taken in the same roll call. Should the student fail one of the two tests, he/she will necessarily have to repeat both at a later appeal.

There will be 3 exam appeals available for the winter session (mid-January- February) and 4 appeals for the summer session (June, July and September). Extraordinary appeals will not be granted outside the periods specified in the course regulations, except for out-of-school students.

ASSESSMENT METHODS

Details on how to prepare for the exam and the degree of depth of each topic will be provided in the course of the lectures.

The oral examination will cover the topics covered in the lectures and will aim to assess not only whether the student has achieved an adequate level of knowledge, but whether he or she has acquired the ability to critically analyze biochemical problems that will be posed in the examination, including from a pathophysiological perspective. The student will also be required to draw the structure formulas of biomolecules and metabolic intermediates, identifying the types of reactions involved and the resulting energy changes. The student will also be required to demonstrate the ability to describe biochemical processes clearly and with correct terminology. 

Exam schedule

Data Ora Luogo Degree type Note
09/01/2024 14:00 GENOVA Orale
12/01/2024 09:00 GENOVA Scritto
02/02/2024 09:00 GENOVA Scritto
15/02/2024 14:00 GENOVA Orale
23/02/2024 09:00 GENOVA Scritto
04/06/2024 09:00 GENOVA Scritto
07/06/2024 14:00 GENOVA Orale
21/06/2024 09:00 GENOVA Scritto
26/06/2024 14:00 GENOVA Orale
12/07/2024 09:00 GENOVA Scritto
15/07/2024 14:00 GENOVA Orale
29/07/2024 14:00 GENOVA Orale
13/09/2024 09:00 GENOVA Scritto
19/09/2024 14:00 GENOVA Orale