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

Nutritional Science (L-29)
Date Time Classroom / Location

Learning Objectives

The course aims at providing students with knowledge about the structure and function of biological molecules as well as on the main principles of biochemistry fundamental to the understanding of the metabolic processes, with particular reference to the metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins. This course will also provide the necessary tools for further investigations in the field of biochemistry of foods and food science.


1.Introduction to the course
2.Amino acids and proteins
2.1 Structural features of amino acids and their classification
2.2 Primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary structures of proteins
2.3 Oxygen-binding proteins
3. Enzymes
3.1 Classification
3.2 Mechanism of action
3.3 Michaelis-Menten equation
3.4 Regulatory enzymes
4. Carbohydrates
4.1 Monosaccharides and disaccharides
4.2 Polysaccharides: starch, glycogen, cellulose
5. Nucleotides and nucleic acids: an outline
6. Lipids
6.1 Structural features and nomenclature of fatty acids
6.2 Structure of triacylglycerols and main features
6.3 Structural lipids in membranes: an outline
7. Bioenergetics and biochemical reaction types
7.1 Bioenergetics and thermodynamics
7.2 Common biochemical reactions
7.3 Phosphoryl group transfers and ATP
7.4 Biological oxidation-reduction reactions
8 Carbohydrate metabolism
8.1 Glycolysis
8.2 Gluconeogenesis
8.3 Penthose phosphate pathway
8.4 Glycogen metabolism
8.5 Principles of metabolic regulation
9 The citric acid cycle
9.1 Production of Acetil-CoA
9.2 Reactions of the citric acid cycle
9.3 The glyoxylate cycle
10 Fatty acid catabolism
11 Amino acid oxidation and the production of urea
12 Oxidative phosphorylation and ATP synthesis
13 Photophosphorylation and carbohydrate biosynthesis in plants: an outline
14 Lipid biosynthesis
14.1 Biosynthesis of fatty acids
14.2 Biosynthesis of triacylglycerols
14.3 Biosynthesis of membrane phospholipids: an outline
14.4 Biosynthesis of cholesterol
15 Biosynthesis of amino acids
16 Biosynthesis and degradation of nucleotides
17. Tissue-specific metabolism: an overview

Bridging Courses

Bridging courses are not required. It is required a basic knowledge of organic chemistry and biology.

Learning Achievements (Dublin Descriptors)

After completing the course, student will need to show:

  •  to have acquired adequate knowledge of the structure, functions and metabolism of the most important biological macromolecules (carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and nucleotides);
  • to have understood the structure-function relationships of bio-molecules with particular reference to the importance of food metabolism as the main source of energy;
  •  to know how to apply the acquired knowledge to solve problems of enzyme kinetics and to make connections between different metabolisms (glucose, lipid and protein metabolisms) demonstrating to have understood the rationale behind the discipline;
  • to be able to independently deepen what learned to use critically and with proper independent judgment the acquired biochemical knowledge;
  • to possess the specific biochemical terminology and to be able to properly communicate the knowledge and the acquired concepts also to a non-expert public;
  • to be able to link and integrate the knowledge learned in the field of biochemistry with that provided in the other courses and to have developed biochemical skills needed to undertake next studies with a high degree of autonomy

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

Teaching, Attendance, Course Books and Assessment




Attendance is strongly recommended.

Course books

Nelson DL, Cox MM: I principi di Biochimica di Lehninger, 2014, Zanichelli.
Nelson DL, Cox MM: Introduzione alla biochimica di Lehninger, 2011, Zanichelli.
Tymoczko JL, Berg JN, Berg JM, Stryer L: Principi di biochimica, 2010, Zanichelli.
Supplementary books:
Voet D, Voet JG, Pratt CW: Fondamenti di biochimica, 2013, Zanichelli.
Garrett RH, Grisham CM: Biochimica, 2014, Piccin.

The material used during the lessons  will be visible online and thus available to all students.


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: 25/07/2018

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