Combined Bachelor's + Master's degree in Dentistry and Dental Prosthetics


Course code
Name of lecturer
Marta Vittoria Menegazzi
Marta Vittoria Menegazzi
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
1° SEMESTRE dal Oct 3, 2016 al Dec 22, 2016.

Lesson timetable


Not inserted.

Learning outcomes

The aim of Biochemistry course is focused on understanding the molecular bases of how biological systems work and the structure-function relationships of macromolecules, both in physiological and in pathological condition. The course aims to introduce the main metabolic pathways and their regulations at the molecular, cellular and tissue levels, integrating chemical, physiological and pathological aspects of human biochemistry, in order to provide students with biochemical knowledge useful in the practice of dentistry.


Structure and classification of amino acids. Structure of the peptide bond. Secondary structures (alpha helix, beta sheet, triple helix of collagen). Tertiary and quaternary structures of proteins. Structure and function of fibrous proteins: alpha keratin, actin-myosin, elastin. Structure and function of proteins that bind the oxygen, saturation curve of hemoglobin for oxygen, cooperative effect, Bohr effect, 2,3 bisphosphoglycerate, pathological hemoglobins. Enzymes: examples of enzyme catalysis. Enzyme kinetics, maximum speed, Michaelis constant. Enzyme inhibition: competitive, non-competitive, allosteric. Regulation of enzyme activity by phosphorylation. Vitamins and co-enzymes.
Introduction to metabolism. Electron transport chain, theory chemo-osmotic, oxidative phosphorylation by rotational catalysis.
Digestion of carbohydrates, glycolysis, energy balance and its regulation, lactic fermentation. Gluconeogenesis, glycogen synthesis and glycogen lysis. Hormonal regulation of blood sugar. Pentose phosphate pathway.
Oxidative decarboxylation of pyruvate, the citric acid cycle and its regulation.
Catabolism of ethanol and its effects on hepatic metabolism. Cycle nutrition / fasting, metabolic dis-regulation in some human diseases.
Digestion of lipids, transport of lipids in the blood, lipoproteins.
Cytosolic activation of fatty acids, carnitine transport into mitochondria.
Beta oxidation of fatty acids. Ketogenesis, fatty acid synthesis, cholesterol metabolism.
Digestion of proteins. Amino acids metabolism: transfer, transport and deletion of the amino group, urea cycle. Catecholamine synthesis.
Nucleic acids, structure of DNA and RNA, DNA replication in eukaryotes, transcription.
Protein synthesis Regulation of gene expression and signal transduction.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Mathews CK, Van Holde KE, Appling DR, Anthony-Cahill SJ Biochimica (Edizione 4) Piccin 2013 978-88-299-2683-1
Siliprandi N, Tettamanti G Biochimica medica Ed. Piccin, Padova 1998
David L Nelson, Michael M Cox I principi di biochimica di Lehninger (Edizione 7) Zanichelli 2018 9788808920690
P.C. CHAMPE, R.A. HAEVEY, D.R. FERRIER Le basi della biochimica Zanichelli 2015

Assessment methods and criteria

During the Course of Biochemistry two tests in progress will be planned in the written form with open questions. The access to the second test will be conditioned by the overcoming of the first one.
In the normal session of examination the test will consist of a written part requiring a detailed description, by chemical formulas, of one of the main metabolic pathways. Passing the written test will give access to the oral test that will be focused on all the arguments described in the attached program.

Teaching aids



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