Biochemistry I

Academic year
Subject Area
Área Científica do Menor
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
1st Cycle Studies

Recommended Prerequisites

Chemistry, Mathematics and English.

Teaching Methods

Teaching will have a theoric component where students will acquired the ability to apply the acquired knowledge to concrete problems either through questions raised by the teacher or the students. In the other course component, the so-called theoric-pratic lectures, the lower number of students per class will offer conditions to implement strategies of continous questions solving posed by competing groups of students.

Learning Outcomes

The acquisition of knowledge on the relation between biomolecules chemical properties and stereochemical features and their function is the major goal of this curricular unit. At the end of this course students must know to correlate structure and biologic function, applying concepts learnt througout the course, including enzyme mechanism and kinetics in problem solving. Students will also acquire the skills to learn autonomously either by searching on the web and/or through specialized literature.

As the structure-function relantionship is fundamental this course teaching-learning strategy will provide students with the background knowledge fundamental to many other subjects, as well as the critical skills to understand what is scientifically published about biomolecules behaviour and ultimately about cells' behaviour.

Work Placement(s)



1. Chemical constitution of major bimolecules. Chemical groups reactivity and bond polarization. Carbon sp3: substitution and elimination reactions; carbon sp2: electrophilic and nucleophilic addition reactions. Oxidation reactions. Carboxylic acids and derivatives: substitution reactionsat sp2 carbon

Concepts of conformation, configuration, stereoselectivity and stereoselectivity

2. Biomolecules

3. Enzymes: catalysis types. Catalytic specificity. Several mechanisms of catalysis. Catalysis kinetics: affinity and catalyitic efficiency. Inhibition types. Allosteric proteins.

4. Lipids. Chemical structures and functions (structural, energetic and cell signaling).

5. Oxidative and glycolytic metabolism. Lipids metabolism.

Assessment Methods

Mini Tests: 20.0%
Exam: 80.0%


Even though there is no recommended bibliography, because major scientific literature on the syllabus is available free online, students may consult the following  major biochemistry books

1. D. L. Nelson & M. M. Cox (2010) Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry, 6th ed., W.H. Freeman and Company, New York, USA

2. J. M . Berg, J. L. Tymoczko & L. Stryer (2007) Biochemistry, 6th ed., W. H.Freeman and Company, New York, USA

3. R.H. Garrett & C.M. Grisham (2000) Biochemistry, 2nd ed., Saunders College, Publishing, Orlando, USA