Biochemistry (2021)

Course manager

Samuel McEwen Walsh

Semester schedule

Spring (13-week period)

ECTS

5

Language of instruction

English

Course type

Compulsory 

Qualifications

Competences corresponding to participation in the course General and organic chemistry. 

Objectives

The students will acquire a basic insight into, and understanding of, the main aspects of biochemistry, thus enabling them to apply this knowledge in the solution of bio- and chemical technological problems. 

Content

  • Macromolecules, membranes and subcellular structures 
  • The macromolecular organisation of the cell: The construction of proteins, polysaccharides, lipids and nucleic acids from small biomolecules
  • The spatial structures and functions of macromolecules, comprising the reactive centres of enzymes, coenzymes and catalytic mechanisms, enzyme kinetic and general regulation
  • The cell's metabolism: The decomposition of carbohydrates and energy conversion in electron transport and phosphorylation. Regulation of metabolic networks.

The purpose of the laboratory element (corresponding to 1 ECTS) is to illustrate the theoretic principles through practical exercises comprising e.g. protein purification, enzyme assays and spectroscopic measurement methods.

Learning targets

On completion of the course, the student is expected to be able to: 

Knowledge

  • Understand simple enzyme kinetics 
  • Explain principles behind the methods of protein purification, structural determination, amino-acid determination, and characterisation of proteins' chemical and physical chemistry properties (including immunodetection methods)
  • Describe how anabolic and catabolic reaction pathways within central metabolism lead to the exploitation of chemically bound energy and the construction of the monomeric precursors of macromolecules 
  • Describe enzyme type, coenzyme, substrate, product, and regulation of the individual reactions in glycolysis, gluconeogenesis, and citric-acid cycle 
  • Describe the structure of carbohydrates and explain the functions of the various macromolecular carbohydrate types
  • Explain the respiration chain's transport of electrons from NADH to oxygen and the formation and exploitation of the proton gradient outside the cell membrane (uninhibited, inhibited, and uncoupled)
  • Explain the interaction between various reaction pathways in the context of the cells surroundings
  • Understand and explain the construction of DNA and RNA

Skills

  • Describe the structures of amino acids and explain the chemical and physical chemical principles behind the stabilisation of proteins' secondary, tertiary, and quaternary structures
  • Explain the protein chemical descriptions of substrate binding, catalysis and regulation (activation and inhibition) by way of concepts such as specificity, affinity, induced fit, allosteric, cooperativity, covalent modification, and reversibility
  • Describe the construction of lipids and explain the construction of the cell membrane

Competences

  • Be capable of performing, concluding and making perspectives on minor experimental trials within the topics of the discipline

Teaching method

Seminars, problem solution, and laboratory exercises 

Qualifications for examination participation

  • Participation in laboratory exercises and passing the associated mandatory assignments
  • Participation in all planned company visits
  • Participation in all planned activities with external lecturers

All course work is to be performed following the guidelines set out by the course manager.

Examination and aids

Written examination. Duration of examination: 4 hours.

Permitted aids: Textbook, notes, laboratory reports and mathematical program/spreadsheet. No access to the internet.

The form of examination at a 3rd attempt may vary from the above. 

Marking

External

Grading

The 7-point grading scale