Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita e dell'Ambiente - Guida degli insegnamenti (Syllabus)
Basic knowledge in inorganic and organic chemistry, mathematics and physics is desirable.The course is implemented both through classroom lectures (max 7CFU, 56 hours) as well as through laboratory practicals in the didactic laboratories (at least 1 CFU, 8 hours) . These are carried out in small groups (3-5 students), on specific topics that have been treated during the course. In support of the classroom lecture lessons, on the on line Moodle platform teaching materials, instructions and protocols of laboratory exercises are loaded:. Seminars on specific topics of particular interest may be organized in agreement with students.
The course is implemented both through classroom lectures (max 7CFU, 56 hours) as well as through laboratory practicals in the didactic laboratories (at least 1 CFU, 8 hours) . These are carried out in small groups (3-5 students), on specific topics that have been treated during the course. In support of the classroom lecture lessons, on the on line Moodle platform teaching materials, instructions and protocols of laboratory exercises are loaded:. Seminars on specific topics of particular interest may be organized in agreement with students.
At the end of the course, the student will have achieved an overall knowledge on: the structure and function of fundamental biological molecules and their role in the metabolic energy production and transformation; main biochemical pathways and their control; the general strategies that underlie life processes.
Ability to apply the knowledge:
At the end of the course, students will be able to apply the notions they have learned and understood, in the study of other areas such as molecular biology, plant physiology, pharmacology, etc., where knowledge on the main biochemical mechanisms are necessary. Moreover, the students will have achieved an overall knowledge necessary to deal complex and multidisciplinary issues.
The laboratory practicals at the individual level and in groups, and the discussion and interpretation of the results obtained, will contribute to improve the decision-making skills of each student in general, as well as the ability to communicate within a group, and the ability to reach conclusions.
Contents of the lectures (theoretical lessons, up to 7 CFU, 56 hours):
Amino acid structure and properties. Structure and function of proteins. Hemoglobin and myoglobin, heme structure, saturation curves and cooperativeness. Enzymes: the enzymatic catalysis, activation energy. Enzyme kinetics: the Michaelis-Menten model, kinetic parameters, competitive and non-competitive inhibition. Regulation of enzyme activity and allosteric enzymes. Lipids: fatty acids, triglycerides, glycerophospholipids, sphingolipids and cholesterol. Biological membranes: structure and physico-chemical properties. Carbohydrates: structure and function, glycoconjugates and glycoproteins. Metabolism: basic concepts. Role of ATP and of the "high-energy" compounds in energy metabolism. Glucose metabolism. Glycolysis. Aerobic and anaerobic fate of pyruvate. Pentose phosphate pathway. Gluconeogenesis and glycogen metabolism. Cori cycle. Citric acid cycle. The electron transport chain. Oxidative phosphorylation. Malate-aspartate and glycerol 3-phosphate shuttle systems. Activation and transport of fatty acids. Degradation of fatty acids. Formation and metabolic role of ketones. Synthesis of fatty acids. Degradation of amino acids. Urea cycle. Signal transduction: general and intracellular pathways. Adrenaline and insulin transduction pathways. Protein degradation: the role of ubiquitin and proteasome 20S.
Laboratory Practicals (at least 1 CFU, 8 hours):
Spectrophotometric analysis of samples at unknown concentration by the method of linear regression; spectrophotometric assay of enzyme activity; evaluation of enzyme kinetic parameters in the absence and in the presence of an inhibitor.
Methods for assessing learning outcomes:
The exam consists in a written examination followed by an oral one. The written one consists of fifteen multiple choice questions and three open-ended questions to be completed in one hour. The oral one, consists of three open-ended questions. Getting through the written examination is necessary to gain access to the oral examination.
Criteria for assessing learning outcomes:
The questions of the written and oral exam are aimed to assess the student knowledge on the topics of the course. In the written test, the open questions are aimed to evaluate the student's ability to summarize and to clearly and precisely describe the topics.
Criteria for measuring learning outcomes:
The final exam mark is out of 30. The exam is considered passed when the mark is greater or equal to 18. There is also the possibility of giving full marks with honors (30 cum laude).
Criteria for conferring final mark:
For the written examination, every correct answer to a multiple choice question counts as one point while every answer to the open-ended questions is valued between zero and five points, according to the correctness and exhaustiveness of the answer.The mark of the written examination is calculated as the sum of the points obtained in the various type of questions added of a further point. A mark of 16 points is a requisite to be admitted to the oral examination. Every answer of the oral examination is valued between zero and ten points, depending on the correctness, exhaustiveness and the ability of expounding. The marks obtained in the written and in the oral examination are averaged to obtain the final mark. The honors (cum laude) is given when the mark obtained from the written tests reaches 30 and at the same time the student has proved to possess a thorough knowledge of the subject during the oral examination.
Notes taken during the lectures and PowerPoint presentation handed out by the lecturer (on line Moodle platform)
J.M. Berg, J.L. Tymoczko e L. Stryer, “BIOCHIMICA”, 7a ed. Zanichelli.
J. L. Tymoczko, J. M. Berg, L. Stryer, “PRINCIPI DI BIOCHIMICA”, ed. Zanichelli