Objectives of the course: Understanding the molecular design of life through the study of structure-function relationships of key biomolecules (DNA, RNA, proteins, membrane lipids) and biochemical processes (nutrient intake and digestion, oxygen transportation, blood coagulation, DNA replication and repair, protein synthesis) as well as of their connections to human physiology and disease.
Contents: Introduction to Biochemistry: Abiotic origin of life. Molecular Evolution. Principles and applications of Bioinformatics. Proteins: Protein structure. Globular proteins. Fibrous proteins – collagen, keratins, elastin. Protein folding. Protein misfolding and degenerative diseases. Experimental methods for protein purification and analysis in research and diagnosis. Enzymes: Basic principles, enzyme kinetics, regulation mechanisms. Hemoglobin and hemoglobinopathies, Enzyme reaction cascades: nutrient digestion, blood coagulation. Lipids and biological membranes: Transmembrane translocation of solutes, transport mechanisms. Nucleic acids: Nucleic acid structures and topology. Experimental study of nucleic acids and genes. Recombinant DNA technology. Flow of genetic information: DNA replication and repair. Basal transcriptional machinery. Principles of gene regulation. RNA synthesis and processing. Translation – genetic code.
Teaching format and learning outcomes: Teaching is implemented through lectures and complementary practical exercises. Students are expected to familiarize with the structure and function of key biomolecules of life and understand that the structures of biomolecules serve their function and that the cellular functions have evolved based on the properties of molecules. In this context, it is important for the students to consolidate that both the qualitative changes in the sequence and architecture of biomolecules and the quantitative deregulation of gene expression are fundamental processes constituting the molecular basis of modern medicine.
Hours of training per student: 127