School of Medicine
University of Patras
>University of Patras
Undergraduate Courses

Biochemistry II

Semester 2nd ()

Code MED_221

Hours Lectures, seminars and laboratory work 8 hours (per week)




  • Signaling as the major means of intercellular communication of cells and tissues

  • Signal transduction and reshaping of the heterotrimeric G proteins

  • Insulin signaling: phosphorylation cascades and their significance in signal transduction pathways.

  • Signaling pathways downstream the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor(EGFR)

  • Common trends and differences amongst signaling cascades

  • Deregulation of signaling pathways in cancer and other diseases.


  • Digestion and absorption of dietary carbohydrates

  • Stages and energy production from degradation of dietary macromolecules.

  • Anaerobic glycolysis: mechanisms and regulation of the pathway

  • Entry of Fructose and Galactose into the glycolytic pathway

  • Metabolic fate of pyruvate

  • Lactic acid, glycerol and amino acids in Gluconeogenesis: mechanisms and regulation of the pathway- the significance of Cori’s cycle

  • Pentose phosphate pathway: regulation of the pathway, its significance for the Red Blood Cell.

  • Role of the Pentose phosphate pathway in the production of redox potential for biosynthetic pathways, neutralization of reactive oxygen species and biosynthesis of ribonucleotides.

  • Biosynthesis and breakdown of Glycogen

  • Disorders of glycogen metabolism

  • Blood glucose homeostasis. Adaptation of metabolism during prolonged fasting.

  • Glycoproteins.


  • Conversion of pyruvate to acetyl-coenzyme A.

  • Mechanisms and regulation of the reactions in KREBS cycle.

  • Entry of amino acids in the cycle and participation in anabolic reactions.

  • Regulation of the cycle and its usage as a source of biosynthesis precursors.

  • Deregulation of the KREBS cycle in cancer


  • Oxygen as an oxidizing agent in biological systems– the role of respiration in humans

  • Electron carriers, electron transport through the respiratory chain.

  • ATP production in mitochondria and its impact in cardiac function

  • Mechanisms and regulation of oxidative phosphorylation.

  • Mitochondrial transportation systems

  • Mitochondrial diseases

  • Neutralization of oxygen’s toxic derivatives


  • Mobilization of adipose tissue’s fatty acids

  • Oxidation of fatty acids

  • Production and utilization of ketone bodies – their role in prolonged fasting

  • Fatty acid biosynthesis: Mechanisms and regulation of reactions

  • Triglyceride biosynthesis and storage

  • Phosphoglycerate and sphingolipid metabolism, their significance in health

  • Biosynthesis, regulation and biological role of prostaglandins, prostacyclin and thromboxanes.


  • Biosynthesis and metabolic regulation of cholesterol

  • Inhibition of cholesterol synthesis as a pharmaceutical target

  • Biosynthesis and role of bile acids- the significance of human microbiome

  • Absorption of dietary fat- metabolism and function of lipoproteins- the importance of nutritional trends

  • Mutations of the LDL receptors- hypercholesterolemia- atherosclerosis- coronary heart disease (molecular mechanisms, the role of antioxidants, therapeutic perspectives)

  • Steroid hormone biosynthesis – synthesis and significance of vitamin D.


  1. Measurements of glucose and amylase in serum.

  2. Measurement of total cholesterol in serum and lipoprotein electrophoresis.

  3. Measurement of lactate dehydrogenase Vmax and its conversion in enzymatic units (U/L)


The course focuses on the basic principles of metabolism and cellular communication via signal transduction pathways and interactions of hormones with their cognate surface receptors. Individual modules include description and analysis of the principles and regulation of metabolic pathways of carbohydrates, lipids and cholesterol. The course aims to a comprehensive knowledge of the initiation and regulation of metabolic modules, the initiation and regulation of metabolic pathways, recognition of the intermediate and final products and the distinction between physiological and pathological conditions and how the latter can be identified by laboratory based biochemical analyses. Special emphasis is given in nutritional habits and how they affect metabolism under physiological and pathological conditions.

Upon completion of the course, the students should be able to:

  1. Understand the basic principles of intermediary metabolism and distinguish between physiological and pathological conditions based on laboratory measurements of metabolites.

  2. Comprehend the role of surface receptors in signal transduction, regulation of gene expression and pharmacological targeting.

  3. Associate disease with the deregulation of metabolism, seek the etiology and suggest the therapeutic strategies.

  4. Understand and evaluate the contribution of nutrition in the homeostasis of intermediary metabolism, both under normal and pathological conditions.

  5. Conduct experiments during laboratory classes related to diagnosis and interpret the data.

  6. Be kept updated with new developments in the field and the international bibliography.

  7. Use the knowledge and understanding they have acquired in a way that demonstrates a professional approach to their work and have skills proven to develop and support arguments to solve problems within their cognitive field.

  8. Gather and interpret relevant information within their field of knowledge and to make decisions after consideration of relevant social, scientific and ethical issues.

  9. Communicate information, ideas, problems and solutions of both qualified and non-specialized audiences.

Reading Material

  1. BergJ.M., TymoczkoJ.L. andStryerL. Biochemistry 8th edition, 2015 W.H. Freeman and Company.

  2. BaynesJ.W., DominiczakM.H. Medical Biochemistry, 4th edition, Saunders (2014).