First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Science
Course unit
SCP4067772, A.A. 2017/18

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2017/18

Information on the course unit
Degree course First cycle degree in
SC1165, Degree course structure A.Y. 2008/09, A.Y. 2017/18
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination BIOCHEMISTRY 2
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Biology
E-Learning website
Mandatory attendance
Language of instruction Italian

Teacher in charge ELENA ZIVIANI BIO/10
Other lecturers ILDIKO' SZABO' BIO/10

Integrated course for this unit
Course unit code Course unit name Teacher in charge

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Basic courses BIO/10 Biochemistry 6.0

Course unit organization
Period Second semester
Year 1st Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Laboratory 1.0 16 9.0 No turn
Lecture 5.0 40 85.0 No turn

Start of activities 26/02/2018
End of activities 01/06/2018

Examination board
Examination board not defined


Common characteristics of the Integrated Course unit

Prerequisites: Basic knowledge of inorganic and organic chemistry
Target skills and knowledge: The student will be familiar with cellular and whole-organism metabolism and will acquire the information necessary to understand cellular biology and physiology classes.
Examination methods: Written examination with both multiple choice and open questions
Assessment criteria: The student has to provide evidence of having understood and studied the information given during the lectures and those found in the textbooks.

Specific characteristics of the Module

Course unit contents: Membranes and Membrane-Associated Phenomena. The membrane as a (selective) barrier and a means of (intra- and inter-cellular) communications. Classification and mechanisms of transport across a membrane. Passive transport. Diffusion: energetics and permeability coefficients. Molecular models for carrier-mediated transport. Ion channels and mechanisms of gating. Significance of the Nernst equation. Active transport. Energetics and primary and secondary active transports. Classification, relevance, and examples of ATPases and exchangers.
Damage of Membranes by Oxygen Radicals and the Cell Repair Mechanisms.
Mechanisms of Cell Signaling. Biochemistry of first messengers (hormones and hormone-like molecules). Receptors. Classification and mechanisms of signal transduction via formation of a second messenger (e.g. cAMP, DAG, IP3, Ca2+) and phosphorylation cascades. Examples of signaling pathways: from cell surface to the cell fate (survival, proliferation or death) and to the onset of metabolic disorders.
Principles of Bioenergetics. The chemiosmotic theory and its relevance in all energy-transducing membranes. Generation and use of the proton-motive force. Mitochondrial respiration and photosynthesis.
Sugar Metabolism. Pathways for the degradation and synthesis of glycogen. The metabolic breakdown of glucose (and other monosaccharides). Role of glycolysis in different tissues. The fate of cytosolic NADH. The pentose phosphate pathway. How the tricarboxylic acid cycle plays a central role in catabolism. The role of mitochondria in aerobic ATP production. The ex-novo synthesis of glucose. Principles of (hormonal and allosteric) regulation of the above pathways. Calvin cycle.
Breakdown and synthesis of fats. Transfer of lipids around the body. Digestion and (re-)synthesis of triglycerides. Mitochondrial β-oxidation of fatty acids. Synthesis of fatty acids and the role of malonyl CoA. Role of compartmentation in biosynthesis/degradation. The synthesis and utilisation of ketone bodies. Principles of (hormonal and allosteric) regulation of the above pathways.
Amino acid metabolism. Principles of amino acid degradation in mammals and of excretion of nitrogen. Principles of (hormonal and allosteric) regulation of the above pathways.
Tissue-specific metabolic processes and inter-tissue exchange of metabolites.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: The course will provide information on the structure-function relationship of biological membranes and of molecules that catalyze reactions to direct the flow of energy and materials. Other aims are the understanding of how energy is converted into the most useful forms for the life of the cell, and the ways by which biological signals are transduced by, and integrated in, a cell. The student will learn the principles that underlie the response of a cell to a given metabolic state, the controls that regulate metabolic transformations, and the diversity of metabolic processes occurring in different organs.
Additional notes about suggested reading: There is an ample choice of texts, e.g., Nelson D.L., Cox M.M., I Princìpi di Biochimica di Lehninger (IV ed), ed. Zanichelli, Bologna; Strayer L., Biochimica, ed. Zanichelli, Bologna; Moran L.A., Scrinmgeour K.G., Horton H.R., Ochs R.S., Rawn J.D. Biochimica, ed. McGraw-Hill; Matheus C.K., van Holde K.E., Biochimica, ed. Ambrosiana, Milano; T.M. Devlin, Biochimica, ed. Gnocchi, Napoli; D. Voet, J.G. Voet, Biochimica, ed. Zanichelli, Bologna; Koolman J., Röhm, K.H Atlante di Biochimica, ed. Zanichelli, Bologna.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)