« Return


To provide the students with an understanding of the biochemical structures and processes that will help to understand the mechanisms of many central processes of life. The competences acquired in this curricular unit are designed to give the students a fundamental knowledge of biochemistry which will serve as a basis for subsequent curricular units. Therefore, the main objectives include the understanding of life processes at the molecular level by the knowledge of protein, carbohydrate and lipid structures, and their function in cellular metabolism and organization. In addition, the students will acquire the knowledge of the main metabolic pathways for the production and use of energy.

The practical/lab classes will provide experimental methodology necessary to the characterization and evaluation of the biochemical functions of cellular systems. The laboratorial work will contribute to develop experimental and investigative skills to design and carry out scientific investigations.


Amino acids: structure and classification. Peptide bonds and proteins. Protein structure and function. Enzymes: classification and kinetics. Mechanisms of enzymatic action and regulation. Carbohydrates: structure and function. Lipids: structure and nomenclature. Membrane composition and structure.

Organization and metabolism. Carbohydrate metabolism: glucose oxidation and biosynthesis. Reactions of glycolysis, Krebs cycle and oxidative phosphorylation. The pentose phosphate pathway and gluconeogenesis. Photosynthesis: light reactions and Calvin cycle.

Practical program: methods of biochemical analysis; amino acid and protein characterization; protein analysis by the biuret method; carbohydrate properties; lipid analysis in oils and fats; ethanol fermentation by immobilized yeast; effect of gibberellic acid on seed germination.

Teaching Methodologies

The lecture portion of the curricular unit consists of two hours per week. Lectures will be presented in data show with previous distribution of the power point handouts.

Laboratory classes account for an average of 2 hours per week. In the beginning of the semester, students will have a laboratory manual with all the experiment protocols to be used in the lab classes. The students will work in groups of 3 members, performing the tasks proposed in the protocol.

Students must attend 75% of all laboratory classes.


Berg, J.M., Tymoczko, J.L., Stryer, L. (2004) Bioquímica. 5ª ed., Editora Guanabara Koogan S.A.

Campbell, M. K. (1995) Biochemistry. 2nd ed., Saunders College Publishing.

Mathews, C. K. & Van Holde, K.E. (1995) Biochemistry. 2nd ed., The Benjamin/Cummings Publishing Company, Inc.

Voet, D., Voet, J.G. & Pratt, C.W.. (1999) Fundamentals of Biochemistry. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Zubay, G.L., Parson, W.W. & Vance, D.E. (1995) Principles of Biochemistry. Wm. C. Brown Publishers



ECTS Credits



  • Teóricas - 30 hours
  • Teórico-Práticas - 30 hours

Evaluation Methodology

  • Laboratory component: 25%
  • Theoretical component: 75%