Metabolism and Regulation


In this course students will acquire basic knowledge inBiochemistry with particular emphasis onmetabolic processestheir regulation and integration.Themes that exemplify the importance of this knowledge in Medicineincluding case studies of metabolic diseases, are also addressed in the form of seminars or team work. With such approach, students will study and go deeper into specific topics of the course, using  not only text books but also related scientific publications. Thus they will develop  their communication skills, with oral presentations, contributing to the continuous assessment of knowledge.
As in other coureses, laboratory classes focus relevant aspects of the theory and compel the student to work in group.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Maria Alice Santos Pereira


Weekly - 4

Total - 57

Teaching language



Approval is recommended for the UC Introduction to Biochemistry and Biochemistry.


Main references

Nelson, D.L., & Cox, M.M.
W.H. Freeman and Company, San Francisco, 7th ed., 2017

Voet, D., Voet, J.G. & Pratt, C.W.
John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, 5th ed., 2016

Berg, J.M., Tymoczko, J.L., & Stryer L.
W. H. Freeman and Company, San Francisco. 8th ed., 2015

Berg, J.M., Tymoczko, J.L., & Stryer L.
W. H. Freeman and Company, San Francisco. 3rd ed, 2015

Miesfeld, R.L., & McEvoy, M.M.
W.W. Norton & Company,  1st ed, 2017

Teaching method

Teaching involves:

  1. Lectures taught using a "data-show", accompanied by supplementary bibliography previously available on the course page in CLIP. In the first class of the semester all information about the curricular unit will be presented. Evaluation will be discussed as well.
  1. Problem-solving sessions, putting in practice the theoretical concepts acquired throughout the different classes.
  2. Laboratory sessions with groups of four students ( 4 sessions), where students conduct experimental work following laboratory protocols previously distributed to all students. 

All the information about the course is accessible through the dedicated web page on CLIP platform. In this site all pdfs files of the lectures presentations, laboratory protocols and exercises will be available.

Evaluation method

1. General conditions for participation, attendance and evaluation of the UC:

  • The UC of Metabolism and Regulation B is organized into theoretical (T), theoretical-practical (TP) and laboratory practical (P) classes;
  • Attendance at all P classes is mandatory;
  • The evaluation process includes evaluations of the T and P components and presentation of a seminar;
  • Students who have not obtained "frequência" are excluded from assessment in any component of the UC;
  • No extraordinary repetition of practical laboratory work is foreseen;

2. Obtaining "frequência":

  • To obtain "frequência" at the UC, students will have to carry out the 5 practical sessions, including the presentation of the seminar;
  • The realization of P classes takes place in groups of 3 or 4 students, requiring the preparation of the work;
  • The punctuality of the student, the preparation of practical classes, and the execution of the experimental work, will contribute to obtaining the frequency

3. Assessment:

  • Assessment of component T - 75% of final grade
    • Continuous assessment by taking 3 tests - the grade is given by the average of the 3 tests
    • or Final examination
  • Component P evaluation - 15% final grade
    • The evaluation of the P component is carried out at the same time of the T tests and includes questions about the practical work
    • This grade is not subject to improvement in the final exam
  • Seminar evaluation - 10% of final grade
    • The seminars focus on a metabolic disease within the framework of the material taught at UC, except the glycogen metabolism.

To pass the UC, students will have to obtain a grade higher than 9.5 in the T component

Important notes:

  • The grades of all evaluation elements will be rounded to the tenth; the grades for each component will be included in the final classification formula, also rounded to the tenth.
  • Students who have not passed by continuous assessment are admitted to the final exam. The classification in this exam must be equal to or greater than 9.5.
  • Improvement of the final classification is carried out in the final exam and only for the T component.

In any case, the responsible of the reserves the right to carry out an oral exam, for final approval, to any student enrolled in the UC.

Subject matter

  1. Introduction. Basic concepts of Metabolism. Principles of metabolic regulation
  2. Mechanisms of signal transduction and chemical communication between cells.
  3. Revision of the Central Metabolism – Glycolysis, Gluconeogenesis and their Reciprocal Regulation. The Cori cycle. The citric acid cycle. The glyoxylate cycle. Oxidative phosphorylation.
  4. The Calvin Cycle and the Pentose Phosphate Pathway. Activity of the Calvin Cycle and its dependence on environmental conditions. The CAM metabolism. The Pentose Phosphate Pathway and its coordination with Glycolysis.
  5. Glycogen Metabolism. Glycogen breakdown and synthesis and their reciprocal regulation. The regulation of phosphorylase and its regulation by allosteric interactions and reversible phosphorylation.
  6. Lipid Metabolism. Oxidation and biosynthesis of fatty acids. Ketone bodies. Regulation. The Control of Fatty Acid Metabolism and key regulation by acetyl coenzyme A carboxylase.
  7. Metabolism of amino acids. Amino acids oxidation and production of urea. Biosynthesis of amino acids and molecules derived from amino acids.
  8. Nucleotide Metabolism. De novo biosynthesis and degradation of nucleotides.
  9. Integration and metabolic regulation. Summary of the main metabolic pathways and the main strategies for energy conservation. Integration of the metabolic pathways and organ specialization. Hormonal regulation and integration of mammalian metabolism


Programs where the course is taught: