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
LEZIONI 1° SEMESTRE 2°-3°-4°-5°-6° ANNO dal Oct 1, 2020 al Dec 23, 2020.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The Biochemistry course aims at understanding the molecular bases of the functioning of biological systems and the structure-function relationships of macromolecules, either under physiological conditions or in some pathologies. The course also aims to raise the knowledge of the main metabolic pathways and their regulation at the molecular, cellular and tissue levels. This will be possible by integrating chemical, physiological and pathological aspects of the human biochemistry in order to provide students with the biochemical knowledges useful for dental practice.


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
Voet D, Voet JG, Pratt CW Fondamenti di Biochimica (Edizione 4) Zanichelli 2017 978 88 08 42096 1
David L Nelson, Michael M Cox I principi di biochimica di Lehninger (Edizione 7) Zanichelli   9788808920690

Assessment methods and criteria

Two progress tests with open questions will be conducted. The first one at the beginning of November concerning the structure and function of biological macromolecules, the second on December 20th concerning topics on metabolism. In the later, one of the questions will be the detailed description with chemical formulas of a particular metabolic pathway. To be admitted to the second part it is necessary to clear the first part of progress test. The final assessment would be made with mean of the both progress examinations.
In regular sessions, the examination will consist of a written part describing a particular metabolic pathway with chemical formulas and the oral discussion on that pathway and on other topics related to the program.

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