Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences
Department of Genetics and Bioengineering

Code Name Level Year Semester
GBE 210 Biochemistry Undergraduate 2 Spring
Status Number of ECTS Credits Class Hours Per Week Total Hours Per Semester Language
Compulsory 6 3 + 2 149 English

Instructor Assistant Coordinator
Enisa Omanović Mikličanin, Prof. Dr. Enisa Omanović-Mikličanin Enisa Omanović Mikličanin, Prof. Dr.
[email protected] [email protected] no email

Biochemistry is the field of studies on molecules and chemical reactions of living things. The basic principles of biochemistry are common to all organisms such as bacteria, plants, and humans. Therefore, the findings of any research that is carried out on particular organism may be applied to almost all other species. The biochemistry course analyzes mainly the structure and function of biomolecules: physical-chemical properties and metabolisms of nucleic acids, proteins, carbohydrates and lipids; the mechanism of enzyme kinetics, coenzymes, etc. The course will introduce the close relationship between the chemical and physical properties of biomolecules and their functions. The regulation and integration of these critical metabolic processes with each other will be emphasized. Students will comprehend the importance of chemical changes on the function of biological systems. Moreover, they will be able to use this knowledge to apply and combine with the topics of other related courses in the field. This course is taken concurrently with a laboratory course.

The cognitive, affective and behavioral objectives of this course are following:
• Introduction to the energetics of life: the first and second law of thermodynamics to predict the direction of chemical reactions that occur in biological systems.
• Explaining the intermolecular interactions: mechanism of covalent and non-covalent interactions, charge-charge interactions, hydrogen bonds, Van der Waals forces and hydrophobic interactions.
• Describing ionization of water: acid/base chemistry as it applies to biological molecules.
• Illustrating structure and function: basic molecular properties of the 4 classes of biological molecules (proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and nucleic acids) and the subunits from which they are formed and explaining how the structure of biological molecules dictates function and how changes in structure direct biochemical reactions.
• Describing properties and mechanisms of enzymes: the catalytic functions of enzymes, and performing enzyme kinetics calculations.
• Defining organic reaction mechanisms: the network of chemical reactions that make up central metabolism.
• Providing a general background in the biochemistry field: analyzing scientific literature pertaining to subject matter in biochemistry.
• Giving an outline of scientific mysteries: applying knowledge and concepts to novel problems.

  1. Introduction to biochemistry: The chemical elements of life, intermolecular interactions, introduction to macromolecules, the energetics of life
  2. Water and the fitness for biochemical reactions: The pH scale, acid dissociation constant of weak acids, buffered solutions resist changes in pH
  3. Amino acids and primary structures of proteins: Brief information regarding protein purification techniques, basic analytical techniques, protein sequencing strategies
  4. Three-dimensional structure and function of proteins: Four levels of protein structures, alpha helix, beta strands and beta sheets, protein folding and stability, structures of myoglobin and hemoglobin

  1. Properties of enzymes: The six classes of enzymes, enzyme kinetics, the Michelis-Menten equation, enzyme inhibition, allosteric enzymes, regulation of enzyme activity, mechanisms of enzymes
  2. Coenzymes and vitamins: Coenzyme classification, lipid vitamins, protein coenzymes, cytochromes
  3. Carbohydrates: Cyclization of aldoses and ketoses, conformations of monosaccharides, disaccharides and other glycosides, polysaccharides, glycoconjugates
  4. Mid-term exam
  5. Lipids and membranes: structural and functional diversity of lipids, fatty acids, triacylglycerols, glycerophospholipids, sphingolipids, steroids, biological membrane and lipid bilayers, membrane transport, transduction of intracellular signals
  6. Introduction to metabolism: Major pathways in cells, glycolysis
  7. Gluconeogenesis, the pentose phosphate pathway, and glycogen metabolism
  8. The citric acid cycle, the glyoxylate pathway, electron transport and ATP synthesis
  9. Photosynthesis: Plant photosynthesis, fixation of CO2, Calvin cycle, additional carbon-fixation pathways
  10. Lipid metabolism, amino acid metabolism, nucleotide metabolism
  11. Nucleic acids, protein synthesis, recombinant DNA technology

  1. Beginning of classes
  2. Basic calculations
  3. Solution preparation, buffers
  4. Quantitative estimation of amino acids by ninhydrin
  5. Separation of amino acids by TLC
  6. Titration curves of amino acids
  7. Isoelectric precipitation of proteins
  8. Mid-term exam
  9. Effect of temperature on enzyme kinetics
  10. Effect of enzyme concentration on enzyme kinetics
  11. Effect of substrate concentration on enzyme kinetics
  12. Qualitative analysis of carbohydrates
  13. Estimation of saponification value of fats and oils
  14. Preparation for practical exam
  15. Practical exam from lab course

  • Interactive Lectures
  • Practical Sessions
  • Excersises
  • Presentation
  • Problem solving
  • Assignments
Description (%)
Method Quantity Percentage (%)
Midterm Exam(s)120
Final Exam140
Total: 100
Learning outcomes
    • Moran, A., Horton, R., Scrimgeour, G., Perry, M., & Rawn, D. (2012). Principles of Biochemistry, 5th ed. New York City, NY, USA: Prentice-Hall.

    ECTS (Allocated based on student) WORKLOAD
    Activities Quantity Duration (Hour) Total Work Load
    Lecture (14 weeks x Lecture hours per week)15345
    Laboratory / Practice (14 weeks x Laboratory/Practice hours per week)15230
    Midterm Examination (1 week)122
    Final Examination(1 week)122
    Preparation for Midterm Examination11515
    Preparation for Final Examination11515
    Assignment / Homework/ Project12020
    Seminar / Presentation12020
    Total Workload: 149
    ECTS Credit (Total workload/25): 6