Degree course: 
Corso di First cycle degree in BIOTECHNOLOGY
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 (88 hours)

Knowledge of Molecular Biology, General Chemistry and Organic chemistry.

Final Examination: 

The examination is designed to assess the skills acquired by the student concerning:
1. knowledge and understanding of the basis of biological chemistry and ability to find correlations between the various aspects of the topic.
2. ability to understand the interconnections between different metabolic pathways, to understand the regulation of energy metabolism, biomolecules and biological information. Ability to extract information from a text book or research paper and to identify the critical aspects.
3. quantitative Knowledge of biochemical phenomena.
4. Understanding of bioinformatics (methods and practices)

In detail:
Module of Metabolism
Written test.
4 questions regarding the structure of macromolecules
2 problems
Marks are expressed on a scale of 30.

Oral test regarding topics discussed during lessons.
Only student with at least a 18/30 mark in the written test will be allowed to do the oral exam.
In the oral exam, the student will be required to possess adequate knowledge of:
Biomolecule structure and function.
The main features of enzymes and their function.
The main biochemistry techniques.
The reactions related to metabolic pathways, and their interrelation and control.
The duplication, transcription and translation processes.

Marks are expressed on a scale of 30.

Module of Bioinformatics
Discussion of practical use of bioinformatics approaches for a solution of a biochemical problem or for the acquisition of information.
Questions regarding the knowledge of bioinformatics methods and softwares

Marks are expressed on a scale of 30.

You have to gain at minimum a 18/30 mark in each part of the exam to pass the exam. The final vote will be the average of the result from the 3 parts of the exam.

Voto Finale

In the metabolism part will be studied the main classes of biological molecules (sugars, proteins, lipids and nucleic acids). The metabolic pathways for their synthesis and catabolism. Aim: understand the molecular basis of life. Understanding the model biotechnological applications of organisms and molecules. Understanding the modern approaches to biochemical research.
• Cognitive skills
- Basic elements of Biological Chemistry and metabolism of nutritional elements;
- comprehension of molecular basis of physiological and pathological processes;
- knowledge of main biological databases and bioinformatic tools

• Practical and subject specific skills
- Application of biochemical knowledge for the comprehension of function of organism and environment;
- Ability to understand the interconnections between metabolic pathways and macromolecule metabolism;
- Ability to exploit bioinformatic tools (data banks, servers, software).

- Ability to understand the alteration of patologic disfunctions and potential biotechnological applications;
- Ability to understand and discuss bioinformatic analysis

• Communication skills
- Ability to write a concise report;
- Ability to communicate the results of a research in written and oral mode;
- Ability to convert numerical data into plots;
- Ability to read and comment a scientitfic text;

Module “Metabolism”: 7 CFU – 56 hours class (Lectures)
Lessons Metabolism (7 cfu, 56 hours):
The water and pH- Chemical composition of the body: Introduction to the course. Macro-and trace elements.
- Water and aqueous solutions: physical-chemical properties of the water. Solubility of inorganic and organic compounds in the water. Acid-base balance.

Biological molecules
- Amino Acids: Structure, chemical properties and isoelectric point. The peptide bond.
- Proteins: Levels of structural organization of proteins and interactions stabilizers. The denaturation of proteins. Classification of proteins. Outline of the main techniques for the analysis of protein structure.
- Carbohydrates: Main aldoses and ketoses. Chirality and stereoisomerism. Cyclic and open forms. Glyosidic bond. Major oligosaccharides. Polysaccharides (glycogen, starch, cellulose and other components of dietary fiber).
- Lipids: Fatty acids: structure, classification, physical and chemical properties. Triglycerides. Glycerophospholipids and sphingolipids. structure and function of cholesterol, bile acids and steroid hormones. Biological membranes and membrane transport: mechanisms of facilitated transport. Pumps and ion channels.
- Nucleotides and Nucleic Acids: Biochemical functions of nucleotides. Structure of nucleic acids.
- Enzymes: Catalysis. Nomenclature and classification of enzymes. Substrate specificity. Examples of catalytic mechanisms: chymotrypsin. Enzyme kinetics and units of measurement of enzyme activity. Enzyme assay. Enzyme cofactors.

- Introduction to metabolism: - Energy Balances related to the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and lipids. Production, interconversion and consumption of energy in cells. ATP as a universal carrier of metabolic energy. Oxygen, the biological oxidations. The pyridine nucleotides as carriers of reducing power. Anabolism and catabolism. Compartmentalization of metabolic pathways.
- Metabolism of carbohydrates: glycolysis and production of pyruvate (regulation). The alcoholic and lactic fermentation. Glycogenolysis (regulation). Gluconeogenesis. The pentose phosphate metabolism. Glycogen synthesis (stages, meaning and regulation). Second messengers: cAMP. Photosynthesis. Tricarboxylic acid cycle (regulation and energy balance). The oxidative phosphorylation (the components of the respiratory chain).
- Lipid metabolism: uptake of lipids. Activation of fatty acids. Beta-oxidation of saturated fatty acids (regulation). Metabolism of propionilCoA. Biosynthesis of fatty acids (stages, meaning and regulation). Cholesterol metabolism.
- Amino acid catabolism: transamination, oxidative deamination. Metabolism of ammonia. Urea cycle
- Metabolism nitrogen compounds: Catabolism of porphyrins and biological amines.

The informational metabolism
- Replication of DNA: Reaction of DNA polymerase.
- The transcription of the DNA: RNA polymerase.
- Protein synthesis: ribosomes, tRNAs. Activation of amino acids. Post-translational modifications.
The molecular pathology
Module Tutorials: 1 CFU – 12 hours lab (Tutorials)
pH and dissociation and buffers
Isoelectric point
Thermodynamics of biological reactions
Module Bioinformatics: 3 CFU – 24 hours class (Lectures)
Computational approaches for the biochemical investigations (Data banks, software, servers)
Exercises Bioinformatics: Practical use of data banks and software

Slides of lessons: from the Elearning website
Exercises: downloadable from Elearning
Lecture notes and papers (also for the laboratory): downloadable from Elearning site
Text book metabolism (one of the following):
Berg J., Timoczcko J.L., Stryer L., Biochimica (Zanichelli)
Voet D., Voet J.G. Pratt C.W., Fondamenti di biochimica (Zanichelli)
Nelson D.L., Cox M.M., I principi di biochimica di Lehninger (Zanichelli)
Garrett, Grisham, Principi di biochimica (PICCIN)
Matthews, Van Holde, Ahern, Biochimica (Casa Editrice Ambrosiana)
Baynes J.W., Dominiczak M.H., Biochimica per le discipline biomediche (Elsevier)
Campbell M.K., Farrell S.O., Biochimica 4a ed. (EdiSES)
Text book bioinformatics (one of the following):
Pascarella S., Alessandro P., Bioniformatica (Zanichelli)
Valle G., Helmer Citterich M., Attimonelli M., Pesole G., Introduzione alla bioinformatica (Zanichelli)
Tramontano A., “BIOINFORMATICA” (Zanichelli)


Lessons, 10 CFU, 80 hours
Tutorials, 1 CFU, 12 hours