Biochemical Methodologies

Degree course: 
Corso di First cycle degree in BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES
Academic year when starting the degree: 
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
Course type: 
Compulsory subjects, characteristic of the class
Standard lectures hours: 
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (32 hours), Exercise (32 hours)

Propedeuticity: it is mandatory to have passed the examination of General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry.
Basic knowledge of cell biology, basic chemistry and organic chemistry.

Voto Finale

Course description and learning objectives
The course of Biochemistry and Applied Biochemistry is part of the molecular preparation of the student in Biology and Biotechnology. The course is organized in two parts: the first (Biochemistry Module) is aimed to introduce the student into the understanding of the structure-function relationships of biological macromolecules, of the molecular mechanisms of the biological processes and their regulation. The description of the metabolism will be performed both at the qualitative and quantitative level. The second module (named Applied Biochemistry) is aimed to describe the theoretical principles and the practical applications of the main preparative and analytical methodologies used in the biochemical and molecular biology research fields, with specific emphasis to the structural and functional study of the enzymes.
The course is based on theoretical lessons and experimental lab activities.

Course syllabus
Module “Biochemistry” – Loredano Pollegioni: 9 CFU – 76 hours class
Biological macromolecules – 2 CFU (16 hours):
- Elementary composition of living organisms
- Water and water solutions
- Amino acids and Proteins
- Carbohydrates
- Lipids
- Nucleotides and nucleic acids
The metabolism – 4 CFU (32 hours):
- The enzymes
- Introduction to the metabolism
- Metabolism of carbohydrates
- Photosynthesis
- Krebs cycle and Oxidative phosphorylation
- Metabolism of lipids
- Metabolism of proteins
- Metabolism of nucleotides
Integration of metabolism and cell signalling – 1.25 CFU (10 hours):
- Mechanisms of metabolic control
- Signalling mechanisms
Information metabolism – 0.75 CFU (6 hours)
- DNA replication
- DNA transcription
- Protein synthesis
Tutorials (quantitative biochemistry) – 1 CFU (12 hours)

“Module of Applied Biochemistry” – prof. Luciano Piubelli (6 CFU, 32 + 32 hours)
Theory (lessons, 32 hours, 4 CFU):
-Electrochemical techniques
-Protein purification
-Chromatographic techniques
-Electrophoretic techniques
-Spectroscopic techniques
-Enzymatic assays
-Techniques based on radioisotopes
-Mass spectrometry
-Molecular biology techniques
Laboratory (32 hours, 2 CFU):
The applied lab activity is based on the purification and structural and functional characterization of a recombinant enzyme.

Teaching methods
Class lessons, class tutorials, and laboratory activities (see above).

Course bibliography
Slides of lessons: from the Elearning website
Exercises: from the Elearning website
Lab activities: material prepared by the teacher and slides from the Elearning website
Biochemistry (one of the following):
Berg J., Timoczcko J.L., Stryer L., “BIOCHEMISTRY” (Zanichelli/Wiley)
Nelson D.L., Cox M.M., “Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry” (Cox)
Applied Biochemistry:
Keith Wilson and John Walker, Principles and Techniques of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 7th Edition, Cambridge University Press.

Final assessment
Biochemistry Module:
The examination is organized in a written test concerning quantitative biochemistry and knowledge of macromolecules (four open questions and two exercises). Passed the written part, the student can access the oral examination, which is aimed to verify the knowledge of the metabolism.
Applied Biochemistry Module:
Written test (3-4 open questions and about 10 multiple-choice questions) concerning the theoretical basis of the biochemical techniques. The lab activity will be evaluated through a written scientific report of the experimental activities.