Bachelor's degree in Nursing (to qualify as a nurse) (Verona)

Biomolecular fondamentals of life [Matricole pari] - BIOCHIMICA

Course code
Name of lecturer
Daniele Dell'Orco
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
INF VR 1° ANNO 1° SEM dal Oct 5, 2020 al Dec 18, 2020.

To show the organization of the course that includes this module, follow this link * Course organization

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The course will provide students with:
-Basic knowledge of organic chemistry and fundamentals of biochemistry.
-Structure-function relationships of the most important biological macromolecules and of the metabolic regulation at the molecular level.
-Cross-talk between the different biochemical pathways and associated bioenergetics.
At the end of the course the student should prove to have acquired the proper scientific terminology and notions to critically and autonomously understand biochemical processes.


- Building blocks of the biological matter: the polymeric structure of biological macromolecules.
The carbon atom, electronic configuration and hybridization states . Classification of organic compounds and functional groups; hydrocarbons; alcohols; thiols; amines; Aldehydes and ketones; Carboxylic acids; Esters and anhydrides. The oxidation state of organic compounds.

- Protein structure and function: structure and physicochemical properties of amino acids. The peptide bond. Protein structure levels; Fibrous protein; Globular proteins. Hemoglobin and myoglobin: structure, function, factors that influence the oxygen bond, hemoglobin variants. Enzymes: reaction rate, enzymatic catalysis; Coenzymes and cofactors; Water-soluble vitamins; Regulation of enzymatic activity.

- Introduction to metabolism. Metabolic pathways, anabolism and catabolism. The chemical equilibrium and Le Chatelier principle; Equilibrium constant. Chemical transformations and energy changes: Gibbs free energy, exo- and endoergonic reactions. Spontaneity of metabolic reactions end equilibria; Molecules with high energy content: ATP. Redox coenzymes; Regulation of metabolism.

- Carbohydrate structure and metabolism: chemistry of monosaccharides, disaccharides, polysaccharides. Digestion. Glycolysis and its regulation; gluconeogenesis; Glycogen synthesis and glycogenolysis. The pentose monophosphate path.

- Citric acid cycle and oxidative phosphorylation: the cycle of citric acid and its regulation; Electron transport chain and oxidative phosphorylation.

- Lipid structure and metabolism: general aspects and classification. Fatty acid chemistry. Digestion of lipids, β-oxidation of fatty acids; chetonic bodies; Fatty acid biosynthesis.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Catani et all Appunti di biochimica (Edizione 2) piccin 2017 978-88-299-2843-9
David L Nelson, Michael M Cox I principi di biochimica di Lehninger (Edizione 7) Zanichelli   9788808920690
John L. Tymoczko, Jeremy M. Berg, Lubert Stryer Principi di biochimica Zanichelli 2010

Assessment methods and criteria

To pass the test relative to the Biochemistry module, students must prove their understanding of the basic concepts of biochemistry, from biological macromolecules to metabolic transformations. The exam consists of a written test with 30 multiple choice questions. The final exam will be passed if the overall assessment of the integrated course is greater than or equal to 18/30.

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