Cell Biochemistry

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
BIOL 2421
Cell Biochemistry
Science & Technology
Start Date
End Term
Not Specified
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
Contact Hours

4 hours/week of lectures and tutorials

Method Of Instruction
Methods Of Instruction

This course involves four hours a week of classroom instruction, including lectures and tutorials in which selected problems from the textbook are collectively solved.

Course Description
The course will provide an introduction to the structure and function of biological molecules. Proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, enzyme kinetics, and energy metabolism will be some of the topics considered. The main metabolic pathways will be examined with emphasis on their regulation and integration with the overall functioning of an organism in various physiological situations.
Course Content
  1. Water
  • Properties of water
  • Acid-base concepts
  • The Henderson-Hasselbalch equation
  • pH, pK, and pI
  • Protein structure
    • Amino acids, peptides, and proteins
    • Titration curves of amino acids and peptides
    • Protein structure
    • Peptide sequencing
    • Electrophoresis
  • Protein function
    • Structure, function, and behaviour of myoglobin and hemoglobin
    • Adult hemoglobin versus fetal hemoglobin
    • The effect of metabolites on hemoglobin function
    • Hemoglobin variants
  • Enzyme kinetics
    • Enzymes as biological catalysts
    • Reaction rates
    • The specificity of enzymes for their substrates
    • Specific catalytic groups and their contribution to catalysis
    • The Michaelis-Menten equation
    • Lineweaver-Burk plots
    • The meaning of Vmax and Km
    • Reversible and irreversible inhibition
    • The effect of pH on enzyme activity
    • Allosteric enzymes
  • Bioenergetics
    • The Laws of Thermodynamics - a short review
    • Standard and actual free-energy change
    • The Equilibrium Constant
    • Coupled reactions
    • Phosphate group transfers and ATP
  • Metabolism
    • Glycolysis
    • The Tricarboxylic Acid Cycle or Krebs Cycle
    • The Electron Transport System
    • The Glycerol-Phosphate and Malate-Aspartate shuttle mechanisms
    • Gluconeogenesis
    • Glycogen metabolism - Glycogen synthesis and Glycogenolysis
    • Lipid metabolism - beta-oxidation and fatty acid synthesis
    • Nitrogen transport and the Urea cycle; ubiquination
    • The effects of hormones on metabolism
    • Integration of metabolism
    Learning Outcomes

    Upon completion of Biology 2421, the student will be able to:

    • Describe the chemistry of water, acid-base properties, and buffers.
    • Describe the structure and acid-base properties of amino acids.
    • Describe the structure of peptides and proteins, and how their structure relates to function.
    • Explain how protein sequence is determined.
    • Describe what allosteric proteins are, and their importance.
    • Describe the structure, function, and behaviour of hemoglobin and myoglobin.
    • Apply the principles of enzyme kinetics to describe quantitatively the activity and behaviour of enzymes.
    • Explain basic bioenergetic principles as they relate to metabolism in the cell.
    • Describe the structure and function of carbohydrates and lipids.
    • Explain in detail the processes of glycolysis, Krebs cycle, electron transport and ATP synthesis.
    • Describe the process of gluconeogenesis.
    • Describe glycogen synthesis and glycogenolysis.
    • Discuss the role of hormones in the regulation of cellular metabolism.
    • Describe lipid metabolism.
    • Describe nitrogen metabolism.
    • Discuss how catabolic and anabolic pathways integrate in human metabolism.
    Means of Assessment

    Evaluation will be carried out in accordance with Douglas College policy.  The instructor will present a written course outline with specific evaluation criteria at the beginning of the semester.  Evaluation will be based on the following:

    Class tests 10-25%
    Term project 10-15%
    Two term examinations 30-50%
    One final examination 30-40%



    Textbook Materials

    Consult the Douglas College Bookstore for the latest required textbooks and materials.  Example textbooks and materials may include:

    Nelson and Cox.  Lehninger – Principles of Biochemistry (current edition).  New York: Worth Publishers.


    Courses listed here must be completed either prior to or simultaneously with this course:

    • No corequisite courses

    Courses listed here are equivalent to this course and cannot be taken for further credit:

    • No equivalency courses