Academic Year 2019/2020 - 2° Year - Curriculum Tossicologia dell'Ambiente e degli Alimenti
Teaching Staff: Valeria SORRENTI
Credit Value: 8
Scientific field: BIO/10 - Biochemistry
Taught classes: 56 hours
Term / Semester:

Learning Objectives

The aim of the course is to provide the student with the elements for understanding the biochemical and molecular mechanisms of cellular metabolism and its regulation with particular regard to the biochemical processes influenced by the chemical species present in the environment and in food.

Course Structure

Face-to-face lesson

Detailed Course Content

Composition and organization of living matter. Chemical composition of the cell: water, minerals, amino acids, proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, nucleic acids.

Amino Acids and Proteins: Peptide bond, structures and functions of proteins, allosteric proteins, haemoglobin, myoglobin and cytochromes.

ENZYMES: Mechanisms of Enzyme Action , Properties of Enzymes, Inhibition of Enzymes, Regulation of Enzyme Activity, Allosteric Control of Enzyme Activity, Coenzymes: Structure and Function.


Carbohydrate Metabolism:

The Glycolytic Pathway, Enzymatic and hormonal Regulation of the Glycolytic Pathway, Gluconeogenesis, Glycogenolysis and Glycogenesis, Oxidative Pyruvate decarboxylation , The Tricarboxylic Acid Cycle, Pentose Phosphate Pathway.

Bioenergetics and Oxidative Metabolism:

Structure and Compartimentation of the Mitochondrial Membranes, Electron Transfer, Oxidative Phosphorylation, Mitochondrial ATP Synthesis, Photosynthesis, Oxygen free radicals production and defence mechanisms.

Lipid Metabolism:

Synthesis and Degradation of Lipids, Enzymatic and hormonal Regulation of the Lipidic Pathway, Ketogenesis, Synthesis of Cholesterol.

Amino Acid Metabolism:

Transamination and decarboxylation of amminocids, role of PLP, Urea Cycle and its regulation.

Purine and Pyrimidine Nucleotide Metabolism:


Metabolism of Purine Nucleotides, Metabolism of Pyrimidine Nucleotides


Nucleic Acids:

DNA : Structure and Conformation; Synthesis, Repair, and Recombination;

RNA: Structure, Transcription, and Processing; Protein Synthesis: Translation and Posttranslational Modifications; Regulation of Gene Expression in Prokaryotes and Eukaryotes; Recombinant DNA and Biotechnology.

Plants and the environment:

Plant adaptations to biotic or abiotic stresses, soil pollutants and the effects of plant toxins on herbivores, interactions between animals, plants and the environment.

Enzymes and the environment:

Enzymes as biosensors, enzymes and heavy metals

Environmental Pollution

Food contaminants

Textbook Information

  1. D. VOET, J. VOET, C. W. PRATT- Principi di biochimica- Zanichelli
  2. -G. ARIENTI- Un compendio di biochimica- Ed. Piccin
  3. -P.C.CHAMPE, R.A. HARVEY, D.R. FERRIER- Le basi della Biochimica-Zanichelli
  4. -D.L.NELSON, M.M. COX- Introduzione alla biochimica di Lehningher- Zanichelli