Medical biochemistry, molecular and cell biology I

The aim of the course: Medical Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology I. gives a comprehensive description and understanding of chemical structures and processes important in human body and of the transfer of genetic information. These principles are necessary for the medical practice and for the learning of biochemistry. The informations also contribute to the learning of physiology, pathophysiology, pathology, pharmacology, numerous clinical topics and laboratory diagnostics.

Special emphasis is put on medical aspects. Skills in experimental work are also developed during laboratory programs.

Infobooklet - spring semester - 2011/2012


Bioorganic chemistry

I. Amino acids, peptides, proteins

Amino acids. Amino acids as electrolytes. Structure and chirality of amino acids. Reactions of amino acids. Proteins. The peptide bond. Structure levels in proteins. Primary structure of proteins. Steric structure of globular proteins. Conformation of proteins. Purification of proteins. Structural characteristics of fibrous proteins. Collagen. Myoglobin and hemoglobin.

II. Carbohydrates, lipids, nucleotides, vitamins, coenzymes

Description and structure of biologically important compounds (seminars, not lectures !)

III. Enzymology

Enzymes. Enzymes as proteins, enzyme activity. Isoenzymes. Coenzymes. Enzyme kinetics. Mechanism of action of some important enzymes (serine proteases). Reversible and irreversible inhibitions of enzymes. Regulation of enzyme activity. Allosteric enzymes.

IV. Cellular biology

Compartmentation in the eukaryotic cells. Membrane structure. Intracellular membranes. Cell nucleus. Movement of cellular organelles. Cytoskeleton, microfilaments, microtubuli, actomyosin. Mechanism of vesicular transport. Metabolism and transport, the principle of metabolom. Metabolic profile of various organelles (endoplasmic retikulum, peroxisomes, lysosomes, mitochondria).

V. Molecular Biology I. DNA, RNA and protein synthesis

Nucleic acids – structure and function. Bases, nucleosides, nucleotides, DNA structure, DNA denaturation, hybridization. DNA replication. Replication in procaryotes, leading and lagging strand. Okazaki fragments. DNA-dependent DNA polymerases. DNA ligase. Telomerase. topoizomerases. Replication in eucaryotes. Structure of eucaryotic  chromosomes. Mitochondrial DNA. Nucleosome structure. DNA repair. Types of  DNA damages; mutations, frame shift, nonsense mutations, mismatch repair. Coordination of repair and replication. Transcription in procaryotes. Structure of RNA; t-RNA, r-RNA, m-RNA, differences between the procaryotic and eucaryotic genomes.  Transcription complexes, initiation, elongation, termination in procaryotes. Transcription in eucaryotes, RNA polymerases, promoters, enhancers  silencers. Processing of mRNA, mechanism of splicing. Alternative splicing. The genetic code. Activation of tRNA. Mechanism of translation, initiation,  elongation, termination. Antibiotics. Posttranslation modifications. Protein transport into intracellular compartments. Proteolysis.

Molecular Biology II. Regulation of gene expression

Regulation of gene expression in procaryotes. Operon model. Positive and  negative regulation in the lac operon. Regulation of gene expression in procaryotes at transcription level. Role of chromatine structure. DNS metilation. Enhancer sequences. Post-transcriptional regulation in eucaryotes. Regulation by the lifetime of  mRNA. Translational regulation. Cell cycle in eucaryotes. Cyclins and cyclin dependent protein kinases. Proteases in the cell cycle. Regulation of G0/G1, G1/S and G2/M transitions. Integration  of the repair into the cell cycle. The role of apoptosis in the cellular homeostasis. The apoptotic cell. Biochemical processes during apoptosis: role of mitochondria, activation of caspases, degradation of DNA. Molecular biology of malignant tumors. Protooncogenes and cellular oncogenes. Tumor induction by retroviruses. Possible mechanisms of the activation of oncogenes. Anti-oncogens and their roles. Oncogenic effect of DNA viruses. Relationship between cell cycle and oncogenesis.

Molecular Biology III. Methods in molecular biology and gene technology

Principles of gene technology. Cloning, genomic and cDNA libraries. Blotting techniques and their utilizations. PCR and its utilization in molecular biology. Vectors and endonucleases in the gene manipulation. Synthesis of recombinant proteins. Expression of transgenes in mammalian cells. Transgenic, „knock out” animals in medical research. The Human Genome Project and its results. The DNA chip. Human gene therapy. Utilization of informatical methods in biological and medical research.