772108 Fundamentals of biochemistry

Semester hours
Lecturer (assistant)
Staudacher, Erika , Stadlmann, Johannes
Offered in
Wintersemester 2023/24
Languages of instruction


Structure and function of amino acids; peptide binding;
Proteins: protein biosynthesis, targeting in the cell; protein structure (folding, denaturation/renaturation), post-translational modifications, protein function (example oxygen transport, proteolytic enzymes);
Enzymes: function, mechanisms of enzymatic catalysis, activity determination, enzyme kinetics, regulatory mechanisms, enzyme characterization;

Connective tissue, cytoskeleton (actin, microtubules), muscle (myosin, contraction);

Monosaccharides, oligosaccharides, polysaccharides: biosynthesis, occurrence and function in metabolism;

Biological membranes: structure (phospholipids, membrane proteins, cholesterol);
Transport through membranes, example nerve impulse conduction, basics of signal transmission at membranes (neurotransmitters),

Effect of toxins, apoptosis;

Vitamins and their function in metabolism;

Hormones: function of selected examples;

Immunology: overview of cellular and humoral components of the immune system (innate and acquired);
Basic functions of the immune system (innate immune response, complement system, acquired humoral and cellular immune response);

Bio- or protein chemical working methods:
Chromatography (separation principles and biochemical application examples of size exclusion/gel filtration, ion exchange, partition and adsorption chromatography);

Electrophoresis: separation principles and biochemical application examples of denaturing and native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, isoelectric focusing, 2-dimensional SDS page, electrotransfer, and Western blot;

Characterization of primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary protein structures (amino acid analysis, chemical and mass spectrometric methods for peptide/protein sequencing, spectroscopic methods);

Previous knowledge expected

Good knowledge of general chemistry and organic chemistry; insight into genetics and molecular biology.

Objective (expected results of study and acquired competences)

Students can describe the structure and function of proteins, polysaccharides and (phospho)lipids. The influence of protein structure on biological functionality in the context of the mammalian cell can be explained. The basic operation of enzymes is known, kinetics and enzyme activity can be calculated. The theoretical knowledge of the main biochemical working methods prepares students well for the requirements of practical purification and analysis of biomolecules. The basics of immunology can be applied to daily life; the basic cellular and humoral processes can be reproduced.
You can find more details like the schedule or information about exams on the course-page in BOKUonline.