General Biochemistry C


At the end of the semester the student should readily:

Describe the constitution and structure of proteins. Distinguish globular from fibrous proteins. Know several examples  of protein structure-function correlation, including the mechanism of some enzimatic reactions. Know experimental methods for isolating and characterizing proteins. Understand the main concepts on enzyme catalysis and regulation. Interpret enzyme kinetic data and calculate kinetic parameters according to the Michaelis-Menten model. Carry out simple enzyme assays.

Name and describe the constitution, the structure and the function of common carbohydrates. 

Name and describe the constitution and  strucures of DNA and RNA. Describe the  functioning and the regulation of  the replication, transcription and translation steps. Know  the basic procedures of recombinant DNA techniques.

Describe the constitution, structure and properties of biological membranes and the characteristics of the fluid mosaic model. Know the molecular systems associated to biological transport.

Understand the central role of the pair ATP/ADP and of other nucleotides in metabolism. Be familiar with the basic concepts of bioenergetics. Perform quantitative calculations in bioenergetics. Describe the main metabolic pathways in the cell and their regulation, with emphasis on the central metabolic pathway and on photosynthesis. Understand the difference between substrate-level phosphorylation and phosphorylation linked to electron-transfer processes.

Be competent using materials and equipments commonly found in a biochemical lab, as well as acquiring, treating, presenting and discussing experimental results.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Teresa Sacadura Santos Silva


Weekly - 4

Total - 55

Teaching language



Available soon


Nelson, D.L., & Cox, M.M.
W.H. Freeman and Company, San Francisco, 5th ed. 2008

Voet, D., Voet, J.G. & Pratt, C.W.
John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, 3rd ed. 2008

Lubert Stryer
W. H. Freeman and Company, San Francisco.
6th Ed. 2007

Introduction to Proteins: Structure, Function, and Motion, 

Kessel, A., & Ben-Tal, N. (2018) Second Edition. Chapman and Hall/CRC.

Teaching method

Theoretical and theoretical-practical classes where the contents of the UC will be taught; practical laboratory classes that include laboratory sessions and online sessions. Theoretical-practical classes include carrying out activities and solving exercises, and will be given using a “data show”. Practical laboratory classes consist of carrying out, in groups of 3 or 4 students, four experimental works and the respective questionnaires. 

Evaluation method

The evaluation of the discipline includes a practical component and a theoretical component:

Practical component (25% final grade):

- Practical laboratory sessions and online practices are mandatory;

- The evaluation of the practical component is made for each class separately, based on questionnaires to be answered before the class (20%); student performance during the respective laboratory session (60%); elaboration of a questionnaire referring to the laboratory work performed (20%).


Theoretical component (75% of the final grade):

- Theoretical and theoretical-practical classes are not mandatory;

- The acquired contents will be evaluated based on 3 components:

i) 2 individual written tests, prepared in the middle and at the end of the semester, respectively. To pass, the average of the tests must be greater than or equal to 8.0 values (considering a sclae of 0-20). The tests correspond to 35% of the final grade of the UC.

ii) Seminar - group presentation (4/5 people) of a topic chosen by the teacher. The presentation should take about 15 minutes and will be followed by 5 minutes of questions. The seminar will be held at the beginning or end of theoretical or theoretical-practical classes for the whole class. The content and the form of the seminar will be assessed.  The seminar corresponds to 30% of the UC''s final grade.

iii) T and TP activities - include answering questionnaires; prepare questionnaires; make summaries of the topic; peer reviewing; prepare short news related to the topic. The activities take place during the theoretical or theoretical-practical classes and / or as homework and are optional (10%). The activities correspond to 10% of the final grade of the UC.

Subject matter


Proteins. Methods for protein separation and characterization. Examples of  structure-function correlation in proteins. Introductory enzymology. Nucleic acids. Storage and transmission of genetic information.  Topics on genetic engineering. Carbohydrate structure and glycobiology. Lipids. Biological membranes and transport.

Principles of metabolism. Bioenergetics. Glycolysis and fermentations. The TCA cycle. Cellular respiration,  electron transfer and oxidative phosphorylation.  Photosynthesys and photophosphorylation.

Practical  laboratory work:

 1-Separation of proteins by cromatography. 2- identification of carbohydrates; 3-Assessmernt of the activity of the enzyme lactase. 

(Online Practical laboratory work:

1-Titration of aminoacids; 2-Structure of proteins)