Bachelor's degree in Dental Hygiene (Verona)

Biomolecular fondamentals of life - BIOCHIMICA

Course code
Name of lecturer
Daniele Dell'Orco
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Lezioni 1 Anno1 semestre CLID VR dal Oct 5, 2020 al Dec 4, 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 is mostly focused on the relationship between structure and function of biological macromolecules and the main metabolic pathways in which they are involved.
The fundamental objective is to stimulate the student's interest in biomolecular science by highlighting interconnections between biochemical processes and related energetics.

At the end of the Course the student should prove to master scientific terms and notions in order to critically and autonomously evaluate the biochemical processes of life.


- 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 2018 9788808920690
P.C. CHAMPE, R.A. HAEVEY, D.R. FERRIER Le basi della biochimica Zanichelli 2015

Assessment methods and criteria

The examination relative to the Biochemistry module will be parallel to that relative to the Biology & Genetics module. The final evaluation will take into account the evaluation of each module. The student will pass the exam only in case of a positive evaluation for both modules. The student can decide not to accept the final score and repeat the exam. In order to pass the final exam relative to the Biochemistry module, students shall demonstrate an appropriate understanding of the basic concepts of biochemistry, from biological macromolecules to metabolic transformations. Examination (Biochemistry Module) --------------------------- The exam consists of a written test, structured as follows: - 16 multiple choice questions, each with four possible answers. Each correct answer scores 1.5 points. - 2 open questions, to be briefly answered in a limited space. Each open answer is worth 5 points. The script has a duration of 75 minutes. Final score (Biochemistry Module) --------------------------- The final score, in thirty's (/30), is be obtained by summing up the scores of the two parts.

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