Metabolism and Regulation


In this discipline, students must acquire fundamental and basic knowledge in Biochemistry with particular emphasis in Metabolic Processes, their regulation and interconnection. Due to the importance of the relation between structure and function in Biochemistry, students are encouraged to use and study the 3D structures of proteins using on-line tools. With this aim, students are taught how to use different programs for molecular visualization and interpretation of structures. These competences may be  used and applied by the students for the presentation of Seminars.  With the seminars it is aimed that the students will study and go deeper into specific topics of the course. For this purpose the students will use not only text books but also related scientific publications. When applicabble these seminars constitute part of the evaluation process and shall contribute to enhance the capacities of communication of the students, being presented for all their colleagues.

As in others disciplines, the lab work focus relevant aspects of the theory and compel the student to a work in group.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Maria João Lobo de Reis Madeira Crispim Romão, Teresa Sacadura Santos Silva


Weekly - 4

Total - Available soon

Teaching language



In order to attend and to acquire the necessary knowledge, the students should have passed the introductory course of Biochemistry  (Biochemistry course) or General Biochemistry (other courses)



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, 4th ed. 2012

Lubert Stryer
W. H. Freeman and Company, San Francisco. 7th Ed. 2012.




Escolar Editora, 5th Edition, 2008.


Voet, D. and Voet, J. G.

John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, 4th ed. 2011

Teaching method

1- Lectures with power-point presentations as well as several on-line tools; 2- Laboratory sessions with groups of  three/four students; 3- Problem-solving sessions; 4- Seminars

All the information about the discipline is accessible through CLIP at "documentação de apoio" where pdfs of the lectures presentations, lab protocols, problems and solutions, as well as exams will be available.

Evaluation method

1- Theory: Two final exams – minimal grade : 9.5  The grade of the final exam will contribute with 65% to the final grade.

2- Labs: Three lab practices.

The evaluation will take into account the performance of each of the individual members of the group. The team work will also be accessed. The reports and short questionnaires will be evaluated.

3- Oral seminar of 20 minutes plus 10 minutes for discussion.

The final grade will be a weighted average of the final exam grade (65%) plus  lab and seminar (35%)

Subject matter

Chapter I – Introduction. Basic concepts of Metabolism. Principles of the structure and function of proteins


Chapter II – Mechanisms of signal transduction and chemical communication between cells.


Chapter III – Revision of the Central Metabolism –Glycolysis, Gluconeogenesis and their Reciprocal Regulation. Detailed enzymatic mechanisms occurring in Glycolysis and in the Citric Acid Cycle. The use of other substrates in Glycolysis. Metabolic sources of acetyl-CoA. The Cori cycle. 

Chapter IV –  The Pentose Phosphate Pathway and its coordination with Glycolysis.


Chapter V–Glycogen Metabolism:

Glycogen Breakdown and Synthesis and their reciprocal regulation. The regulation of Phosphorylase and its regulation by allosteric interactions and reversible phosphorylation.

Chapter VI – Fatty Acid Metabolism: Oxidation and biosynthesis of fatty acids. Ketone bodies. Regulation. Phospholipids and glycolipids metabolism. The Control of Fatty Acid Metabolism and key regulation by Acetyl Coenzyme A carboxylase .

Chapter VII – The Biosynthesis of Membrane Lipids and Steroids:

Synthesis of Phospholipids, Triacylglycerols and Cholesterol. Regulation of the biosynthesis and transport of Cholesterol. LDL and HDL. Important derivatives of Cholesterol.

Chapter VIII – Amino Acid Metabolism:   Protein Turnover and Amino Acid Catabolism. The urea cycle and the alanine-glucose cycle. Amino Acid biosynthesis and its regulation. Amino Acids as precursors of important biomolecules. Inborn errors of amino-acid metabolism.

Chapter IX – Nucleotide Metabolism:

De novo synthesis and main intermediates. Salvage pathways. Synthesis and degradation of nucleotides. Biosynthesis of coenzymes derived from nucleotides.

Chapter X – Integration and Metabolic Regulation:

Summary of the main metabolic pathways and the main strategies for energy conservation. Integration of the several metabolic pathways and organ specialization. Allosteric, hormonal and genetic regulation. Metabolic adaptations.

 Chapter XI – Molecular Motors

The main molecular-motor proteins and their mechanism of action: Miosin, actin and muscle contraction.  Kinesin, dynein and movement along microtubules. The rotary motor that drives bacterial motion and bacteria flagella.