Acquisition of knowledge about the structure, function and metabolism of the main biomolecules.
Basic knowledge of General Chemistry and Biology.
BASIC BICHEMISTRY: chemical bonds, molecular interactions and chemical reactions. The water molecule, solutions and pH. Physiological buffer systems. Carbon compounds, functional groups and their reactivity. PROTEIN. Amino acids: structure, nomenclature and chemical-physical properties. The peptide bond. Primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary structure. Collagen. Globular proteins. Myoglobin and hemoglobin: structure, function, regulation mechanisms and Bohr effect. Actin, myosin, tropomyosin and troponin. ENZYMES. Enzymatic reactions, kinetics and activity regulation. Inhibition and inactivation. Allosteric enzymes and isoenzymes. CARBOHYDRATES: structure, classification, function. Glucose, fructose, ribose, lactose. Disaccharides. Polysaccharides: starch and glycogen. LIPID. Structure, classification and function. Fatty acids. Reserve lipids: triglycerides. Membrane lipids: phospholipids. Cholesterol. BIOENERGETIC PRINCIPLES: exoergonic and endergonic reactions: coupled reactions. Role of ATP, other phosphoric compounds and energy flow. Anabolic, catabolic and amphibolic pathways. METABOLISM OF CARBOHYDRATES. GLYCOLYSIS: phases, energy balance and regulation. Anaerobic fate of pyruvate: homolactic and alcoholic fermentation. Aerobic fate: oxidative decarboxylation. Pentose-phosphate pathway. Glucogenesis and gluconeogenesis. Glycogen: degradation, synthesis and metabolic regulation. METABOLISM OF LIPIDS. Digestion and absorption of lipids. Fatty acid catabolism: role of carnitine in the intra-mitochondrial transport of fatty acids and beta-oxidation. Energy balance. Ketone bodies and cholesterol. Biosynthesis of fatty acids: formation of malonylCoA, the fatty acid synthetase system. Krebs cycle: reactions, energy balance and regulation. Oxidative phosphorylation: the electron transport chain and ATP synthesis. Energy balance of the catabolism of glycids, lipids and proteins. Notes on metabolic regulation (adrenaline, glucagon and insulin). PROTEIN METABOLISM. Catabolism of amino acids (transamination, oxidative deammination). Urea cycle. BIOCHEMISTRY OF MUSCLE CONTRACTION. Muscle fiber classification. Energy substrates and metabolic pathways (anaerobic-alactacid, anaerobic-lactacid, aerobic). Cori cycle.
The course of Human Biochemistry provides the basic concepts on the structure and function of proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids. In addition, the main metabolic pathways for the maintenance of tissue homeostasis of the above mentioned biomolecules, will also be tretaed. Particular attention will be devoted to the energy metabolism in human skeletal muscle.
The course includes classroom lectures. Students can take advantage of an electronic version of the didactic material used in frontal lessons. An e-learning version is also available of the entire course.
NELSON D.L., COX M.M., “Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry”, Macmillan Education Eds.
MOUGIOS V., "Exercise Biochemistry" Human Kinetics Eds.
MORAN L.A., HORTON R.A., SCRIMGEOUR G., PERRY M.D., “Principles of Biochemistry, 5/E”,Pearson Education Eds.
Interim verification tests consisting of multiple-choice and open-ended questions, on topics faced up to the time of the test. The final exam consists of a written test including multiple-choice and open-ended questions on all the contents of the course. Admission to the oral examination is subject to passing the written test. The assessment of written tests will take into account differential scores between multiple-choice and open-ended questions. The oral examination consists in verifying the structural and functional knowledge of biomolecules, metabolic pathways and their regulation.
Didactic material can be downloaded from