Subject: Biochemistry II

Scientific Area:



64 Hours

Number of ECTS:




Overall objectives:

1 - In articulation with other curricular units, Biochemistry I aims at providing students with the knowledge and skills needed for a better understanding of the chemical and physical phenomena that underlie the functioning of cells and living organisms. The student is also expected to develop competencies and skills (some transversal and other specific) related to the: - Capacity for teamwork; - Ability for intellectual concentration and self-study; - Capacity for critical thinking; - Capacity for applying the acquired knowledge in new situations; - Laboratory work; - Ability to design experimental strategies, interpret results and communicate those results in the written and oral form.


1 - CELL SIGNALING: General aspects of the cellular signaling process. Major classes of cellular receptors and their functioning (ion channel-linked receptors, G-protein-linked receptors and enzyme-linked receptors). Receptors and sensory systems (smell, taste, vision, hearing and touch).
2 - IMMUNITY SYSTEM: Innate and adaptive immune system. Diversity and classes of antibodies. Antibody structure and fragments. Antibody-antigen binding. The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) and antigen presentation. Cells involved in the immune response.
3 - CANCER BIOCHEMISTRY: Cancer as a microevolutionary process. Critical factors for the evolution of a cancer. Cancer at the molecular level. Critical cancer genes and their identification. Cancer and cell signaling. Conventional and unconventional therapies to treat cancer (eg. nanomedicine).


Lubert Stryer, Jeremy M. Berg, John L. Tymoczko, Gregory J. Gatto Jr. , Biochemistry. W.H. Freeman Company, New York, 9th edition (2019) ,
Devlin TM (editor) , Textbook of Biochemistry with Clinical Correlations. Wiley-Liss, New York, 7th edition (2010) ,
Alberts B et al. , Molecular Biology of the Cell. W. W. Norton & Company, 6th edition (2014) ,
José A. Martinho Simões et al. , Guia do Laboratório de Química e Bioquímica (3ª Edição, 2013) ,
Vários , Artigos de revisão na área ,

Assesssment methods and criteria:

Classification Type: Quantitativa (0-20)

Evaluation Methodology:
The curricular unit includes 40 hours of theoretical classes and 24 hours of practical classes. In the former, the teacher's teaching is accompanied by multimedia projection; during classes, the teacher is always open to answer questions from the students, also asking questions. The laboratory classes are related with the syllabus and involve the learning/training in various laboratory techniques frequently used in Biochemistry; all the experimental studies are conducted in groups. The evaluation of the UC consists of: a) 2 written tests to assess the knowledge and skills acquired by each student (70% weight); b) scientific reports of the experimental work done to assess the ability of the students to interpret the experimental results and communicate them in written form, as well as their ability to work as a team (30% weight).