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Facoltā di Scienze Agrarie e Alimentari Universitā degli Studi di Milano
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Principles of Biochemistry
Code: G3009A
Teacher:  Alberto Giuseppe Barbiroli
CFU subdivision: Lectures: 5,5
Practices in laboratory:  0,5
Basic aims:  The goal of this course is to introduce the students to biochemistry by surveying the various macromolecules that constitute the cell, and direct and facilitate operational applications of biochemical concepts. The following is a brief list of the central concepts associated with this course: higher order structures (proteins, nucleic acids, lipids and carbohydrates), protein-ligands interactions, the dynamics and regulation of the basic metabolic pathways for energy production and consumption.
Acquired skills:  The overall goal of this course is for the sudent to gain a fundamental working knowledge of biochemistry. Specific areas of student development include acheiving an understanding of: the relationship between the structure and function of biological molecules; the chemistry of intramolecular interactions in macromolecules; basic concepts of enzymology; regulation of metabolism.
Course contents:  Structure and chemical reactions of functional groups associated with biological molecules. Basic elements of protein structure, ligand-macromolecule binding equilibria, enzyme kinetics and catalysis. Basic processes by which the information in genes flows into proteins. Free energy changes in biochemical processes, dynamics and regulation of the major metabolic pathways. General overview of metabolic network.
Program:  Part I Structure, functions and interactions associated with biological molecules including water. The building blocks of macromolecules.Basic elements of protein structure, protein folding/unfolding. Protein-ligand interactions: direct functions (oxygen binding, immunoglobulins); biological catalysts (enzymes), principle of enzymology. The genetic code: from DNA to protein. Part II General aspects of metabolism, energy coupling in biochemical reactions. Carbohydrates metabolism: sequence of reactions in glycolysis, fermentation, citric acid cycle. The electron transport chain and ATP production. Glycogen synthesis and degradation, gluconeogenesis, catabolism of fatty acids and aminoacids. Integrated metabolism: general overview of the major metabolic pathways and their regulation, key metabolites, and cellular metabolic interplay.
Prerequisites:  The prerequisites for this course are the basic concepts of cell biology, and the ability to recognize the chemical reactivity of the major functional groups in molecules (-OH, -COOH, -SH, -NH2). Basic mathematics for quantitative approach to biochemistry.
Preparatory instructions:  Organic chemistry
Learning materials:  Textbooks: INTRODUZIONE ALLA BIOCHIMICA DI LEHNINGER (Nelson/Cox, Zanichelli); BIOCHIMICA (Campbell/Farrel, EdiSES)
Other info:  There will be a final written examination inclusive of all the topics of the course.
Program of Principles of Biochemistry (pdf version)
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