Degree course: 
Corso di Long single cycle degree (6 years) in MEDICINE AND SURGERY
Academic year when starting the degree: 
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
Course type: 
Basic compulsory subjects
Main course: 
Second semester
Standard lectures hours: 
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (50 hours), Exercise (10 hours)

The course provides that the student has successfully passed the medical chemistry exam of the first year of the course and therefore has the basic notions of general chemistry and organic chemistry.

Final Examination: 

The Biochemistry 1 exam allows you to obtain a partial mark that will be used to establish the final mark after passing the exam in the Biochemistry 2 course. The final / overall mark (Biochemistry 1 and 2) will be given by the average of the marks obtained in the two exams.
The Biochemistry 1 exam must be taken in two separate tests taken on different dates: the first will focus on the course topics and will be carried out by administering multiple choice quizzes; the second test consists of an oral interview on the same topics as the written test.
The written test consists of 30 multiple choice questions (five possible answers, one or more correct to be identified by the student) to be carried out in 60 minutes and the topics will concern the understanding of the topics covered in the course. The evaluation will be insufficient if the evaluation of the correct answers will report a value lower than 18. Points will not be taken for incorrect answers and passing the written test gives the right to take the oral part of the exam exclusively within the same appeal.
The questions of the written exam tend to define the degree of knowledge (30%), the ability to apply knowledge and understanding (35%) and the ability to learn (35%) in relation to the course program. The result of the writing will make media with the oral mark.
The oral test will be taken only by students who have successfully passed the written test and will consist of in-depth questions relating to the written paper.
The oral test consists of questions always aimed at defining the ability to understand (30%), the ability to apply knowledge and understanding (30%), the autonomy of judgment (10%), the ability to learn (30%).
The only final mark out of thirty is the average of the written and oral marks, is a partial mark and will average with the Biochemistry 2 mark to determine the final mark.
They will be evaluated
- the degree of depth of the topic,
- the ability to describe molecular structures,
- the ability to analyze the metabolic pathways, highlighting their regulatory points and knowing how to make connections between the various topics.
The clarity in the expression of the concepts presented and the ability to use the appropriate terminology will be particularly appreciated.

Voto Finale

The course aims to provide a complete overview of the structural characteristics and functional properties of the main biomolecules of biomedical interest, in order to understand the alterations that can be the cause of pathologies and therefore better clarify the pharmacological strategies and their effectiveness in medical practice.


At the end of the course the student will be able to:
a) describe the molecules of biological interest by identifying their determining chemical structure that defines their chemical-physical properties;
b) comment on the specific capacities of oxygen-carrying molecules by identifying the factors that influence their efficiency;
c) discuss the kinetic characteristics of the enzymes and classify the different modes of enzymatic regulation;
d) recognize vitamins and identify their chemical characteristics, know their role in chemical reactions such as prosthetic groups as well as the food source that supplies them, also describing their deficiency conditions in clinical terms;
e) describe the functions of the mitochondria by analyzing the reactions of the respiratory chain and oxidative phosphorylation indicating the key points of metabolic regulation and their importance in energy terms as well as the main pathologies related to the malfunction of the mitochondrial metabolic pathways;
f) describe the metabolic pathways linked to the metabolism of sugars by identifying their key reactions and regulatory sites;
g) analyze the Krebs cycle by describing the reactions that characterize it, identifying the key and regulatory reactions;
h) understand the metabolism of fatty acids by describing all their reactions and identifying their key reactions and their regulation

The course is divided into these fundamental points that will be addressed according to this scheme:
a) The properties of living matter and water.
b) The reserve and structure polysaccharides.
c) The reserve and structure lipids. Steroids: cholesterol and bile acids.
d) Amino acids, peptides. Protein structure. Glycoproteins.
e) Oxygen transporters: myoglobin and hemoglobin.
f) Enzymes: enzymatic properties and kinetics. Regulatory enzymes.
g) Water-soluble vitamins and derived coenzymes.
h) Fat-soluble vitamins.
i) The structural organization of biological membranes. Mitochondrial bioenergetics and molecular basis and of mitochondrial pathologies.
j) Main metabolisms and their regulation: metabolism of:
1. glycides (glycolysis, gluconeogenesis, hexose monophosphate shunt)
2. tricarboxylic acid cycle (Krebs cycle)
3. lipids (beta oxidation and fatty acid synthesis)

Chemical, physical, genetic and evolutionary foundations.
Water: Weak interactions of aqueous systems, ionization of water, weak acids and bases, pH in buffer solutions, water as a reagent. Adaptation of living organisms to the aqueous environment.
Carbohydrates: nomenclature and classification of aldoses and ketoses, Open and cyclic forms. Complex sugars (exosamine, sialic acid). Disaccharides of biological interest (sucrose, maltose, lactose, cellobiose), Homopolysaccharides of structure: cellulose, Homopolysaccharides of reserve: starch and glycogen. Heteropolysaccharides: glycosaminoglycans.
Proteins: Chemical classification of amino acids, reactivity of the carboxylic and amino group, D-L series and their biological importance. Peptide bond and chemical-physical characteristics. Protein structure, primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary. Protein function: enzymes and enzymatic kinetics. Enzymatic inhibition, covalent and non-covalent enzymatic regulation.
Lipids: Simple lipids: fatty acids, nomenclature. Role of the double bond on chain stability and isomerism. Complex lipids: triglycerides, glycerophospholipids and sphingolipids. Structure of biological membranes. Cholesterol and its derivatives. Glycoproteins. The structural organization of biological membranes. Signaling through biological membranes: receptors and second messengers.
Oxygen transporters: structural and functional properties of myoglobin and hemoglobin.
Enzymes: enzymatic properties and kinetics. Enzymatic inhibition. Regulatory enzymes: allosteric enzymes and covalently regulated enzymes.
The metabolism: general, bioenergetic, the ATP-ADP system as an energy link between catabolism and anabolism, molecular basis of the high energy content of ATP, phosphorylation at the substrate level. The "energy charge" and its regulatory role. Glucose activation. Glycogen metabolism and control mechanisms.
Glycolysis, its energy balance and control mechanisms. Shunt of the hexose monophosphate its biological meaning and its adjustments. Glycogen metabolism. The oxidative decarboxylation of pyruvic acid. Gluconeogenesis and control mechanisms. Fatty acid oxidation, ketone bodies. Lipid biosynthesis. The Krebs cycle, its energy balance and control mechanisms. Anaplerotic reactions.


The course is based on lectures that use powerpoint presentations set with images, diagrams and videos. The screening of films will make it easier to understand the development of some biochemical processes. To promote critical reflection and allow students the possibility of self-evaluation, at the end of each topic, questions with multiple choice questions are proposed with the help of the moodle platform. The tests are then analyzed and discussed with the students, they are not withdrawn by the teacher and have no weight for the final assessment, but reproduce typical questions that will be used during the written part of the exam. Material taken from recent international literature will be used to supplement specific topics.
During the lessons, the teacher will also present daily cases and facts that can make us understand the application / importance of the subjects of the teachings. Students are required to attend classes as established in the study program's didactic regulations and to sign the attendance sheet in order to take the exam. The teacher undertakes to make the presentations projected at lessons and other material of interest (articles) available through the University's IT platforms (e.g. e-learning) to which students have access.
All the material useful for the preparation (article test or other) will be uploaded on the e-learning platform.

To meet teacher students, make an appointment by email with the teacher: