Università degli Studi di Napoli "Parthenope"

Teaching schedule

Academic year: 
Belonging course: 
Course of Bachelor's Degree Programme on BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE
Disciplinary sector: 
Year of study: 
Second semester
Hours of front activity: 



Course description

The training objectives of the course in Molecular Biology plan to provide the students the ability to understand the molecular structure of nucleic acids, the structural organization of the gene and the molecular mechanisms that regulate its function and replication. The applications of some of the fundamental technologies of recombinant DNA are also presented, useful as a tool for basic and applied research.
Knowledge and understanding: The student must demonstrate knowledge, understanding and reworking the molecular aspects studied during the course of Molecular Biology in order to transform the knowledge learned in a more complex reflection and elaboration.
Ability to apply knowledge and understanding: The student must demonstrate the ability to use the concepts acquired even in areas other than those in which the knowledge learned of Molecular Biology are traditionally used.
Autonomy of judgments: Students must be able to autonomously explore what they have learned about the aspects of Molecular Biology, in order to use the acquired knowledge as a starting point that allows them to achieve further results, characterized by a growing maturity and from an ever wider autonomy of judgment.
Communication skills: The student must have the ability, in a clear and complete way, to demonstrate the contents of the topics related to the course of Molecular Biology using correctly the scientific language; communication must also be understandable to those who do not have specific preparation on the subject.
Learning skills: Attendance is a teaching aid with central importance; however, the student must be able to update himself continuously, through the consultation of texts and publications (also in English) in order to acquire the ability to deepen the topics in the field of Molecular Biology.


No prerequisites are required for the course, even if the student is advised to have passed the Biochemistry exam. Also, it notes that the examination of Molecular Biology is a prerequisite for the examination of Genetics.


Structure and function of nucleic acids: Nucleotides; Nucleotide derivatives; Phosphodiester bond; Chargaff and Franklin-Wilkins Studies; Watson and Crick model; Conformations; Flexibility; Forces that stabilize.
Structure, function of the nucleosome and chromatin; Dynamic DNA-nucleosome interaction; Remodeling complexes; Histone modifications; Bromo- and chromium-domains; Assembly and disassembly.
DNA Replication: Initiation, Elongation, Okazaki Fragments and Termination; DNA polymerase; Circular, rotating circle and telomere replication.
Transcription: RNA polymerase; Promoters; Start and Lengthening; Rho-dependent and -independent terminators; Complex of the mediator; Signal transduction.
RNA maturation: 5 'capping and polyadenylation; Splicing and Spliceosome; Alternative splicing; Cooperation of splicing and regulation sites; RNA editing; Base deminations; Ribosomal RNA and Transcription; Assembly and structure of ribosomes. RNA transfer; Aminoaciliation; Genetic code; Wavering, expansion and evolution of the genetic code.
Protein synthesis: Beginning of translation; Formation of the peptide bond; Elongation of the polypeptide; Termination of the translation; Post-translational modifications; Sorting of proteins.
Regulation of gene expression in bacteria: Inducible genes; Lactose as a carbon source; Jacob and Monod model; Positive control of the lac operon; Repressible operons; Tryptophan operon; Mitigation model.
ncRNA: snoRNA; rRNA processing; snRNA; Riboswitch; miRNA biogenesis; piRNA; RNA antisense and interference; lncRNA.
C-value paradox; Complexity, Composition and Organization of the genome; Isocore; Kinetics of re-association; Repeated sequences; Satellite DNA; Segmental duplications; Retrotransposons; SINE and LINE; Mini- and Micro-satellites; Pseudogenes; Gene families.
Gene mutations, point and splice sites; Spontaneous and induced mutations; Base Analogs, Base Modifying Agents and Intercalators; Shelter.
Molecular techniques: Endonuclease, Ligase, phosphatase and kinase; PCR; Taq-Polymerase; Variants; Real Time; DNA sequencing; Maxam-Gilbert, Sanger and NGS methods; DNA extraction; Electrophoresis; Southern and Northern blot; Model organisms; Search for mutations.

The course of Molecular Biology provides information to the student to understand the molecular structure of nucleic acids, the structural organization of the gene and the molecular mechanisms that regulate its function and replication. The applications of some of the fundamental technologies of recombinant DNA are also presented, useful as a tool for basic and applied research.
The main topics of the course are provided as Blended lessons in English on the e-learning site (http://e-scienzeetecnologie.uniparthenope.it).

Teaching Methods

The course of Molecular Biology is divided into 48 hours of lectures. Furthermore, on the e-learning site there are some Blended lessons in English.


The slides of each lesson of the course, and other teaching material will be made available during the course in .pdf format and uploaded to the e-learning site (http://e-scienzeetecnologie.uniparthenope.it).
The reference texts in Italian:
• Biologia molecolare del gene - Watson, Baker, Bell, Gann, Levine, Losick - Zanichelli – 7a - 2015
• Biologia Molecolare - G. Capranico, E. Martegani, G. Musci, G. Raugei, T. Russo, N. Zambrano, V. Zappavigna- EdiSES - I/2016
The reference texts in English:
• Molecular Biology of the Gene, 7th Edition - Watson, Baker, Bell, Gann, Levine, Losick - Pearson - 2014
Specific topics can be explored through scientific articles indicated during the course and uploaded to the e-learning site.

Learning assessment

The objective of the exam is to verify the level of achievement of the previously indicated training objectives.
The exam involves assessing the student's ability to connect and compare different aspects covered during the course.
The exam consists of an oral test during which you will be asked to trace the structure of the nucleotides that make up the nucleic acids.
The evaluation of the test takes into account the efficiency of the methods used, the completeness and accuracy of the answers, as well as the clarity in the presentation.
The exam for foreign students can be taken in English.

More information

The teaching material is accessible in e-learning mode at the link http://e-scienzeetecnologie.uniparthenope.it
The reception time is Tuesday and Thursday from 10:00 to 13:00