cod. 1002294

Academic year 2023/24
1° year of course - Second semester
Academic discipline
Biochimica (BIO/10)
"struttura, funzione e metabolismo delle molecole d'interesse biologico"
Type of training activity
40 hours
of face-to-face activities
4 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Integrated course unit module: BIOCHEMISTRY AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY

Learning objectives

The student will be expected to understand and learn the course content. Attendance in the course, which is compulsory, will enable the student to navigate the broad discipline and the acquisition of adequate skills to be able to describe, communicate effectively, and comment with independent judgment:

- the characteristics, functions, structure, and metabolic role of the proteins myoglobin and hemoglobin

- the characteristics, functions, structure and regulation and metabolic role of enzymes;

- the mechanisms of metabolic energy production and the energy and structural homeostasis of living cells.


Before taking the exam of "Biochimica e Biologia Molecolare" students have to pass:
Chimica e propedeutica Biochimica

Course unit content

Myoglobin, hemoglobin and oxygen transport. Enzymes and enzyme kinetics. Cofactors and coenzymes used in metabolic reactions. Bioenergetics and biological oxidation. ATP, structure and functions. Reducing power, oxidative phosphorylation, the role of oxygen metabolism.

Full programme

Structure of the heme. Myoglobin and hemoglobin: structure and function. The human globin chains. Heme ligands. Protein-ligand interaction. Association and dissociation constants. Graphic representation of protein-ligand interaction. Hemoglobin: transition from state T to state R. The cooperative binding and Hill equation. Saturation curve of Hb and Mb. Bohr effect. CO2 transport. 2,3 BPG binding. Effect of temperature and pH on the saturation curve. Hb and NO. Hb and CO. Abnormal hemoglobins.
Classification and nomenclature of enzymes. Gibbs free energy. Transition state. Mechanisms of catalysis. Enzymatic kinetics: Michaelis Menten equation, Lineweaver Burk graph. Catalytic efficiency. Enzymatic inhibition. Allosteric enzymes. Enzymatic regulation. Regulation of metabolic pathways. Bioenergetics and biological oxidation. ATP, structure and functions. Cellular energy charge. Redox potentials. Structure and function of NAD, NADH, FAD, FADH2. Respiratory chain of mitochondria. Reducing power, oxidative phosphorylation, the role of oxygen in metabolism. Cycle of Q.
Shuttle of glycerol 3-phosphate. Shuttle malate-aspartate. Regulation of energy metabolism. Respiration uncoupling and uncoupling agents.


Nelson DL, Cox MM: I principi di Biochimica di Lehninger, Zanichelli, Bologna.

Lewin, Krebs, Goldstein, Kilpatrick: Il gene. Zanichelli, Bologna.

Amaldi, Benedetti, Pesole, Plevani: Biologia Molecolare. Casa Editrice Ambrosiana, Milano.

Lieberman, Marks: Biochimica Medica, un approccio clinico. Casa Editrice Ambrosiana, Milano.

Baynes JW, Dominiczak MH: Biochimica per le discipline biomediche, Elsevier Mosby, Philadelphia.

Caldarera CM: Biochimica Sistematica Umana, CLUEB, Bologna.

Devlin TM: Biochimica con aspetti clinici. Wiley-Liss, New York.

Garrett RH, Grisham CM: Biochimica. Piccin, Padova.

Mathews CK, van Holde KE, Ahern KG: Biochimica, Casa Editrice Ambrosiana, Milano.

Murray RK, Granner DK, Mayes PA, Rodwell VW; Harper Biochimica, McGraw-Hill Libri Italia srl, Milano.

Siliprandi, Tettamanti: Biochimica Medica, Piccin. Padova.

Voet D, Voet JG: Biochimica John Wiley & Sons, USA.

Teaching methods

The course will be held through lectures to Students either in classroom (“in presenza”) or in synchronous-streaming (“in telepresenza”) on Teams platform.The course will be held with oral lectures and seminars to deep single issues, and will make use of multimedia systems. During the lessons, students will have the opportunity to discuss the key aspects of the course. Teachers will be available throughout the duration of the course to answer questions and support students during their training with individual meetings by appointment. Lectures will be supported by slide presentations, which will be available to students on Elly platform (

Assessment methods and criteria

Multiple choice test. If the test is successful, the student can ask to proceed with the grade recording or to take an integrative oral examination. In the event that the student's preference falls on the second option, the final grade will be the average of the results reported in the two tests.
Students with SLD / BSE must first contact Le Eli-che: support for students with disabilities, D.S.A., B.E.S. (

Other information

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