Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo / Portale Web di Ateneo


A.Y. Credits
2016/2017 8
Lecturer Email Office hours for students
Luigia Rossi by previous appointment via e.mail
Teaching in foreign languages
Course with optional materials in a foreign language English
This course is entirely taught in Italian. Study materials can be provided in the foreign language and the final exam can be taken in the foreign language.

Assigned to the Degree Course

Sanitary Nutritional and Environmental Biology (LM-6)
Date Time Classroom / Location

Learning Objectives

Educational goals
The Medical biochemistry course aims to capture the student with the knowledge of the major metabolic pathways (anabolic and catabolic) of organs and tissues of the human organism and their interactions. The course will enable students to integrate knowledge derived from basic scientific disciplines; this integration, which relates to notions molecular, anatomical and physiological, will be essential to reach a complete view of the human body functions in normal and pathological conditions. The reference to the word "medical" or "clinic", when present, is mostly used to strengthen the biological significance of the explained biochemical process



1.Messages between cells and tissues
1.1 Receptors for steroid hormones
1.2 Transrepressione and transactivation of glucocorticoid analogues
1.3 G protein-coupled receptors  
1.4 Action of insulin-receptor binding
1.5 Receptors with guanidilato cyclase activity
2.The blood
2.1 Main functions of plasma proteins
2.2 Structure and main functions of the erythrocyte membrane
2.3 Glycolysis and cycle of Rapoport-Luebering
2.4 CO2 transport and anhydrase carbonic activity
2.5 GSH role in red blood cells
2.6 Removal of red blood cells from the circulation, catabolism of heme and jaundice
2.7 Erythrocytes as drug delivery system
2.8 Neutrophil and oxidative burst
2.9 Hemostasis: main biochemical mechanisms
3. The liver 
3.1 Introduction to the biochemistry of the liver
3.2 Metabolism of fructose and galactose and related diseases
3.3 Fate of glucose in conditions of hyperglycemia
3.4 Hormonal regulation of glycogen synthesis and glycogenolysis
3.5 Glycogen storage disases
3.6 Gluconeogenesis and source of the starting involved molecules
3.7 Synthesis of ketone bodies and their use by extrahepatic tissues
3.8 Ketogenic diet and hepilepsy
3.9 Interrelationships among tissues during fasting
3.10 Comparison between fasting and type 1 diabetes
3.11 Diet rich in carbohydrates and hepatic lipogenesis
3.12 Synthesis of cholesterol and regulation of its intracellular concentration
3.13 Hypercholesterolemy: diet and therapeutic strategies
3.14 Function and fate of lipoproteins
3.15 Fate of protein taken with food
3.16 Entry of amino groups into hepatocyte
3.17 Toxicity of ammonia and organication of ammonium ion
3.18 Role of the liver in the metabolism of amino acids in the fasting state, low-calorie and high protein diet and in hypercatabolic conditions
3.19 Interrelations between liver, muscle, intestine, kidney, brain and immune system cells in the metabolism of amino acids
3.20 Disorders related to amino acid metabolism
3.21 Carnitine and controversies related to it
3.22 Methionine and cancer
3.23 Liver and detoxification reactions
3.24 Metabolism of ethanol
3.25 Metabolic disorders induced by a high consumption of ethanol
4. The adipose tissue
4.1 General characteristics of adipose tissue
4.2 Lipogenesis, lipolysis and liponeogenesis
4.3 Lipoprotein lipase and hormone-sensitive lipase
4.4 Cycle of triacylglycerol and gliceroloneogenesis
4.5 The adipose tissue as a secretory organ of adipokines
4.6 Leptin and adiponectin
4.7 Adiponectin, AMPK and metabolic syndrome
4.8 Thermogenesis
5. The muscle tissue
5.1 Structural organization of skeletal muscle
5.2 Metabolic characteristics of the different muscle fibers
5.3 Synthesis of creatine and related diseases
5.4 Metabolism of nucleotides
5.5 Energy sources in aerobic and anaerobic activity
5.6 Oxidable substrates used by heart muscle
6. The metabolic interrelationships
6.1 State of good nutrition: the liver lipogenic and interrelations between bowel, pancreas, brain, adipose tissue and muscle tissue
6.2 State of fasting: the glucogenic liver and the interrelations between pancreas, brain, adipose tissue and muscle tissue
6.3 State of prolonged fasting or diabetes mellitus: interrelations between liver, adipose tissue and muscle tissue

Bridging Courses

Bridging Courses are not required.

Students need to have adequate knowledge of the main topics in biochemistry

Learning Achievements (Dublin Descriptors)

After completing the course, students will need to show:

  • to possess basic knowledge on the main biochemical processes that occur in different tissues; in particular to have understood the metabolic interrelationships among the various tissues in the fasting state, in the normal power supply and in unbalanced diets;
  • to have acquired the knowledge of the main metabolic pathways specific for different tissues that form the basis of their correct functionality and to have understood the biochemical basis of some metabolic diseases;
  • to know how to apply the knowledge gained relative to tissue-specific biochemistry to perform reasoning according to the logic of the teaching itself;
  • to be able to autonomously deepen what learned so that to use, in a critical manner and with adequate judgment autonomy, the knowledge acquired in the field of right nutrition and in the one most closely related to some pathological conditions;
  • to acquire the teaching specific terminology to be able to properly communicate the knowledge and also the acquired concepts to a non-expert public;
  • to be able to link and integrate the acquired knowledge in the field of medical biochemistry with those provided in other courses and to be able to update their knowledge by consulting scientific publications also in English.

Teaching Material

The teaching material prepared by the lecturer in addition to recommended textbooks (such as for instance slides, lecture notes, exercises, bibliography) and communications from the lecturer specific to the course can be found inside the Moodle platform › blended.uniurb.it

Supporting Activities

The teaching will be integrated with reading and collective discussion of recent international scientific publications on topics of particular interest.

Teaching, Attendance, Course Books and Assessment




 Attendance is strongly recommended.

Course books
  • Biochimica medica - Siliprandi e Tettamanti - Piccin Editori - 2011
  • Biochimica medica - M. Lieberman e A. Marks - Casa Editrice Ambrosiana - 2010
  • Biochimica con aspetti clinici - Devlin Thomas M. -EdiSES - 2011

Other suggested books

  • Biochimica per le discipline biomediche - John W. Baynes e Marek H. Dominiczak - Elsevier - 2011
  • I principi di biochimica di Lehninger - David L. Nelson e Michael M. Cox - Zanichelli - Sixth edition 2014

Slides used during the lessons of the whole course will be visible online and thus available to all students.

The teacher will provide additional material consisting in recent scientific publications on some topics


Oral examination

Disability and Specific Learning Disorders (SLD)

Students who have registered their disability certification or SLD certification with the Inclusion and Right to Study Office can request to use conceptual maps (for keywords) during exams.

To this end, it is necessary to send the maps, two weeks before the exam date, to the course instructor, who will verify their compliance with the university guidelines and may request modifications.


The student can request to sit the final exam in English with an alternative bibliography.

« back Last update: 05/09/2016

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