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CODE 84459
SEMESTER 1° Semester
MODULES Questo insegnamento è un modulo di:



the Course aims to make the student acquire the basic knowledge of the structure and function of the biomolecules that underlie cellular life processes, with particular reference to metabolic processes and their regulatory mechanisms, to bring the student to an understanding of the molecular mechanisms that allow the gentle information reposed in DNA to translate into the totality of cellular functions.


The expected Learning Outcomes are the critical acquisition of the content of the Course and the ability to integrate such biochemical knowledge as it is in the cell to demonstrate that one has acquired an overall picture of the subject that does not stop at the notion but allows the student a coordinated view of biochemical pathways and their interactions in intermediate and regulatory metabolism.



The Course is developed through frontal, classroom lectures. Frontal lectures and examinations may be conducted remotely in telematic mode qualòora se rilevi na necessity.

Lectures are developed with the support of computer materials and, as far as possible, organized giving space to the participatory mode.

 Supporting and in-depth materials (ppt presentations, articles, links to sites of interest, bibliography, etc.) will be made available on aulaweb.


Biochemistry Program (7-CFU)


Introductory notes. Mention of the origin of the chemical elements most represented in biomolecules. Water, structure and properties. Chemical bonds and functional groups.

The molecular logic of life: basic characteristics of biomolecules (amino acids, lipids, carbohydrates). Covalent bonds and weak bonds: role of weak interactions in macromolecules. Hints of thermodynamics of biological systems.


Amino acids and proteins Structure, chemical properties of the 20 standard amino acids and their classification. Primary, secondary and tertiary structure of proteins. Examples. Quaternary structure of proteins. Hemoglobin and myoglobin: saturation curves, 2-3 DPG as effector. Vitamins as coenzymes. Enzyme catalysis and kinetic parameters. Factors and laws regulating it. Allosteric modulation, covalent regulation and enzyme inhibition.

Metabolism and related energy problems Anabolism and catabolism, synthesis and demolition of high-energy bonds. ATP cycle.

Glucose metabolism Structure and chemical properties of monosaccharides, disaccharides and polysaccharides. Major pathways of glucose utilization. Enzymatic steps, regulation of glycolysis and energy balance. Mechanism of action of Aldolase and Glyceraldehyde 3-P DH. Hexose monophosphate shunt and its biological importance: G6PD and H6PD compared.  Interconversion of phosphorylated sugars. Glycogen synthesis and breakdown and hormonal regulation (adrenaline, glucagon and insulin). Metabolism of fructose, and galactose. Gluconeogenesis: specific enzymatic steps and regulation. The oxidative decarboxylation of pyruvic acid: vitamin coenzymes and enzymes involved. The citric acid cycle.  Organization and localization in the mitochondrion of electron transport protein complexes. Oxidative phosphorylation. ATP synthesis and structure of FoF1-ATP synthase, nod to H+-ATP-ases.


Lipid metabolism Fatty acid metabolism. Oxidative demolition of major classes of fatty acids (even and odd, saturated and unsaturated) and energy yield. Synthesis of ketone bodies and relevance in fasting and diabetes. Metabolism of arachidonic acid and formation of prostaglandins, nod to prostacyclins and thromboxanes. Fatty acid synthesis by fatty acid synthase complex. Elongation reactions. Synthesis and demolition of triacylglycerols, sphingolipids, phospholipids, cerebrosides. Cholesterol synthesis and mention of derivatives (bile acids and salts, hormones); HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors.

Nitrogen metabolism.  Amino acid catabolism: transamination, oxidative deamination and ammonia organization in the urea cycle. CAP synthases I and II. Amino acid precursors of important biological compounds such as purine and pyrimidine nucleotides,. Synthesis pathways of major neurotransmitters derived from amino acids (Dopamine, Noradrenaline, Adrenaline, GABA, Histamine); Tetrahydrobiopterin. Structure, synthesis and degradation of heme group. Synthesis and structure of glutathione and its metabolism (GCLC ,GSS, GGPX and GR). S-adenosyl methionine and its metabolism. Adenosine and its metabolism. Synthesis of N5-N10-TH4 and folate cycle. nod to antimetabolites: methotrexate. Synthesis of pyrimidine bases; nod to synthesis of purine bases. Synthesis of Thymine, and deoxyribonucleotides: ribonucleotide reductase and its catalytic mechanism.

Biological information Structure of nucleic acids.   Structure and mechanism of DNA duplication in prokaryotes. Hints at DNA repair mechanisms and telomeres. Structure and function of RNAs. Transcription in prokaryotes, nod to eukaryotes and RNA maturation in eukaryotes. Genetic code. Ribosome structure and protein synthesis in prokaryotes. Translation in prokaryotes. Mention of the regulation of gene expression in prokaryotes and eukaryotes: the Lac operon.

Photosynthesis: Chlorophylls and accessory pigments, reaction center, light phase and dark reactions, the PSI and PSII photosystems; the water splitting center, the enzyme Ribulose diphosphate carboxylase oxidase, Calvin cycle.


Recommended texts:


Nelson D.L and Cox M.M., Lehninger's Principles of Biochemistry, Zanichelli ed.


Garret R.H. and Grisham C.M., Biochemistry with Molecular Aspects of Cell Biology, Zanichelli ed.


Voet D.,Voet J.G. and Pratt C.W., Fundamentals of Biochemistry, Zanichelli ed.


Exam Board





The start of Classes for the second semester of the AA 2022/23 is February 27, 2023 - 

 as per the CULM resolution published on the CDS websites and the Manifesto,

and classes will end on June 16, 2023.

Class schedule

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



The Exam consists in an oral test.


The teacher's examination of the students will be mainly aimed at assessing the theoretical-practical knowledge and understanding of biochemical techniques and at evaluating the skills acquired by the student on completion of the teaching.

Exam schedule

Data Ora Luogo Degree type Note
03/04/2024 09:30 GENOVA Orale
17/06/2024 09:30 GENOVA Orale
01/07/2024 09:30 GENOVA Orale
15/07/2024 09:30 GENOVA Orale
16/09/2024 09:30 GENOVA Orale
03/01/2025 09:30 GENOVA Orale
21/01/2025 09:30 GENOVA Orale
11/02/2025 09:30 GENOVA Orale