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Biochemistry mod 1: biochemistry
Code: G2903A
Teacher:  Francesco Bonomi
CFU subdivision: Lectures: 5
Practices in laboratory:  1
Basic aims:  To provide the basic knowledge required to understand at a molecular level the properties of biological materials, in terms of structure, interactions among components, and the transformations occurring in mteabolism. To acquire basic knowledge on how individual food components - with a particular focus on macromolecules - relate to the quality and safety of foods, also with reference to the peculiar needs of specific consumers.
Acquired skills:  To understand the main features of biological components in terms of their structure and of their role in metabolism. To define the main aspects of the metabolism and of its regulation, also in terms of their relevance to human nutrition. A general understanding of the molecular issues and of the molecular interactions that are relevant to quality and safety issues in foods.
Course contents:  Biological systems: the flow of energy, chemicals, and information. Protein structure. Enzymes and the regulation of metabolic events. Glycoproteins, lipoproteins, biological membranes. Main metabolic routes: catabolism and anabolism, their connections and their regulation. Nucleic acids and information transfer in biological systems.
Program:  First part: Organization in biological systems: flow and interconversion of energy, materials, and information. Role and functions of water towards small molecules and macromolecules: water as a solvent and as a structuring agent Proteins: composition and primary structure, motifs; high-order structures: secondary structure elements, domains and tertiary structure. Structural basis and physiological relevance of quaternary structures. Functional and structural relevance of post-translational modifications. Structural and storage polysaccharides; glycoproteins and glycopeptides, Lipids: classes, organizzation, functions; lipoproteins; biological membranes and cross-membrane transport Enzymes and catalysis, regulation of enzyme activity and of metabolic pathways. Second part: thermodynamics in biology: energy interconversion, high-energy bonds, coupled reactions. Metabolism: glycolysis and fermentation; Krebs cycle and mitochondrial electron transport; lipid metabolism; nitrogen metabolism; anaplerotic routes and, gluconeogenesis; metabolic interconversions; food catabolism; nitrogen excretion. Metabolic diseases: diabetes, chetosis, genetic-based pathologies Integrating and regulating metabolic pathways Third part: biochemical aspects of the information flow in biological systems. Nucleic acids: structure and function, information transfer. Practical labs: Assessing the activity of food-related enzymes Effects of physical treatments on the activity of food-related enzymes
Prerequisites:  Fundamentals of chemistry and physical chemistry Fundamentals of general biology
Preparatory instructions:  Chemistry, general Chemistry, organic
Learning materials:  Suggested textbooks Campbell/Farrel, Biochimica, EdiSES Nelson & Cox, Introduzione alla biochimica di Lehninger, Zanichelli For further information Ritter, Fondamenti di biochimica, Zanichelli Voet, Voet, Pratt, Fondamenti di biochimica, Zanichelli Duranti & Pagani, Enzimologia, Piccin
Other info:  There are two mid-term tests during classes, and a written final exam for anyone failing one or both the mid-term tests.
Program of Biochemistry mod 1: biochemistry (pdf version)
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