cod. 1007848

Academic year 2019/20
1° year of course - Second semester
- Matteo TEGONI
Academic discipline
Chimica generale e inorganica (CHIM/03)
Attività formative affini o integrative
Type of training activity
55 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

At the end of the course the student is expected to be able to:
- Interpret the structural and functional aspects of coordination systems of relevance in biology on the basis of the fundamental concepts of complex chemistry.
- Exemplify types of bioinorganic systems and classify them using the classes of systems studied
- Compare two different bioinorganic systems (eg. two different metalloproteins) and analyze similarities and differences


Basis of General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Biochemistry.

Course unit content

The course deals with the role of metals in biological and biomolecular systems, with particular reference to substrate binding and catalytic activity of metalloproteins, interaction of metal ions with relevant peptides in neurodegenerative diseases, and role of metal centers in electron transport. During the course will be also presented the strategies of protein design (redesign and de novo design) with particular reference to metalloproteins.

Part of the course (1 CFU) will be carried out in the form of lab activities (mainly studies of metalloproteins) and the use of software for the study of bioinorganic systems.


Introduction to the course
Coordination compounds (or complexes) - Inroduction
Coordination compounds - Biological relevance
Localization and transport of metals in biological systems
Electron transfer processes
Metalloproteins and metalloenzymes
Metal ions in neurodegenerative disorders
Protein Design and Metalloprotein Design

Introduction to laboratory activities

Lab activity 1. Spectrophotometric and CD characterization of serum albumin (SA) and of its adducts with Cu (II) and Cu (I)
Lab activity 2. Spectrophotometric titration of Cytochrome c.

Full programme

- - -


For the introduction to the course and to coordination compounds:
Peter William Atkins, Tina Overton, Jonathan Rourke, Mark Weller, Fraser Armstron - Chimica inorganica – Zanichelli - 2012 (Ask the teacher)

For the sections Coordination compounds - Biological relevance, Localization and transport of metals in biological systems, Electron transfer processes, Metalloproteins and metalloenzymes:
Mark Weller, Tina Overton, Jonathan Rourke, Fraser Armstrong – Inorganic Chemistry – Oxford – 2018

For the section Metal ions in neurodegenerative disorders:
Reviews and articles proposed by the teacher.

For the section Protein Design and Metalloprotein Design:
Reviews proposed by the teacher.

Slides of the lectures presented by the teacher.

Teaching methods

Lectures of the teacher, during which the critical discussion by the students will be encouraged. Guided exercises, or addressed case studies will be presented. (5 CFU)
Practical Laboratory activities (1 CFU)
The slides used by the teacher will be uploaded weekly on the Elly website and will be downloadable upon access with personal credentials.
The slides will be used as educational material to prepare the final exam.

Assessment methods and criteria

An oral exam that will cover:
Presentation of the protein, questions related to topics of the course.
During the test the student must demonstrate that he understands the basics of the Chemistry of coordination, with particular reference to examples taken from biological systems.
The test will end with a presentation of the results of possible group activities performed by students during the course related to Protein and Metalloprotein design.

Other information

Part of work is planned to be carried out on a personal computer (presentation of a protein as from one chapter of Handbook of Metalloproteins)