Biochemistry III (Animal Processes)

Learn about biochemistry and its application to animal systems, such as DNA structure, energy processing, and more.

Course CodeBSC303
Fee CodeS3
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

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Learn more about the metabolic processes that sustain life

Delve deeper into biochemistry with this intermediate level course. his course is designed for people working or wishing to work in a human or animal health or science related profession, as practitioner, educator or researcher. 

In this course, you'll examine a wide range of detailed metabolic processes, including:

  • glycolysis and glycogen metabolism
  • lipid, amino acid and nucleotide metabolism
  • enzyme activity
  • sugar and polysaccharide metabolism
  • electron transport oxidative phosphorylation and movement across membranes

...and more. 


Gain a deeper understanding of life processes. A course designed for people working or wishing to work in a human health sciencesanimal health sciences and other science related professions such as health care practitioner, educator or researcher. Learn to explain a range of common biochemical processes - with an emphasis upon animal and human biochemical processes. 


Prerequiste: Biochemistry II - or equivalent knowledge



Chemical reactions are constantly happening in every living thing; from microscopic organisms to the largest plants and animals.

Focus on the major metabolic pathways, as well as cellular transport, electron transfer and energy production amongst other. T

Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction
    • Including: sources of energy; the digestive process as a source of energy; components of the cell; catabolic and anabolic metabolism, energy exchanges; free energy; enthalpy; entropy; energy transporters; ATP; oxidation-reduction process; enzymes.
  2. Glycolysis and Glycogen Metabolism
    • Including: glucose, glycoysis; activation of glycolysis; metabolism of pyruvate; glycogen; fructose and galactose.
  3. Movement through Membranes
    • Including: membranes; kinetics and mechanisms of movement; mediated and non-mediated transport; passive mediated glucose transport; ion gradient active transport; ATP driven active transport; ionophores.
  4. Electron Transport and Oxidative Phosphorylation
    • Including: the mitochondrion; electron transport; oxidative phosphorylation; citric acid cycle; control of ATP production.
  5. Sugar and Polysaccharide Metabolism
    • Including: sugars; glycoproteins; biosynthesis of oliogsaccharides and glycoproteins; pentose phosphate pathway.
  6. Lipid Metabolism
    • Including: lipids, lipid metabolism; pancreas and bile acid; transport across the mitochondrial membrane; fatty acid oxidation in the mitochondrion; beta oxidation; unsaturated fatty acid oxidation; ketone bodies; biosynthesis of fatty acids; metabolic control and regulation of fatty acid metabolism; cholesterol synthesis, control of cholesterol biosynthesis and transport; arachidonate metabolism; phospholipid and glycolipid metabolism.
  7. Amino Acid Metabolism
    • Including: amino acids, amino acid metabolism, transamination, synthesis, amino acid catabolism; glucogenic and ketogenic; the urea cycle; biosynthetic precursors and the role of amino acids; physiologically active amines; biosynthsis of non-essential amino acids; biosynthesis of essential amino acids; aspartate family; pyruvate family; aromatic family; histidine; major organs; nitrogen fixation.
  8. Nucleotide Metabolism
    • Including: nuclei acids; nucleotides; synthesis and regulation of ribonucleotides; purines; pyramidines; formation of DNA, nucleotide degradation; purine catabolism; purine nucleotide cycle; nucleotide coenzymes in animals.
  9. Enzyme Activity
    • Including: enzymes; enzyme classification; enzyme kinetics; enzyme regulation; induced fit; lock and key mechanism.
  10. Other Processes
    • Including: homeostasis; hormones; neurotransmitters; signalling cascade; receptor binding; nuclear localisation signals.

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • Explain the interaction between the various biochemical processes within the animal cell.
  • Explain the processes of glycolysis and glycogen metabolism.
  • Understand the transport mechanism of bio-chemicals through animal membranes.
  • Explain the processes of electron transfer and oxidative phosphorylation, and their importance to energy regulation in animals.
  • Explain the metabolism of carbohydrates.
  • Explain the metabolism of lipids
  • Explain the metabolism of amino acids.
  • Explain biochemical nucleotide metabolism
  • Explain enzyme reactions and catalysis in biochemistry.
  • Explain other biochemical processes including biochemical communication through hormones and neurotransmission.

What You Will Do

  • Discuss the most common three macromolecules in living beings.
  • Research and discuss carbohydrate metabolism disorders.
  • Discuss nerve impulses and nerve impulse propagation.
  • Research and discuss mitochondrial faults.
  • Work through potential patient discussions.
  • Undertake a Problem Based Learning Project regarding certain cancers and cancer-related conditions.
  • Discuss phenylketonuria and its disease progression.

Biochemistry is a Foundation for All Work in Applied Biology

Human and animal bodies are made up of lots of different chemicals which are constantly changing.

  • Chemicals are eaten (as food), breathed in (in the air); and excreted (eg. sweat, our bowels and urine).
  • In between, these chemicals move around the body and change form, breaking down into simpler chemicals, or combining together to form larger chemicals. Some are used to create energy allowing movement; other are used to create body tissues. Old tissues break down to produce chemicals that can be excreted, and some chemicals are stored away for later use, perhaps as fat.

This course assumes you have a broad understanding of biochemistry (achieved in Biolchemistry I) and an understanding of the different types of molecules (achieved through Biochemistry II); and based on that assumption; it concentrates on expanding and deepening your understanding of these chemical changes that happen to chemicals while they are within an animal or human body.


What Does a Metabolic Process Look Like?

The Citric Acid Cycle is an example of one such process.

"The Citric acid cycle is also known as the Krebs cycle after the scientist who first described the features of this metabolic sequence. This cycle takes place in the mitochondria where the required enzymes are located; because of this location there is a direct interaction between electrons of this cycle and those of the mitochondria electron transport.

This is a very important cycle in the cell and it accounts for the major portion of carbohydrate, fatty acid and amino acid oxidation and it is also the source of numerous biosynthetic precursors. It is therefore an amphibolic (both anabolic and catabolic) pathway and one that the cell has to regulate very carefully.

In the TCA cycle, the acetyl CoA which was obtained from the pyruvic acid is completely oxidized to H2O and CO2 through a sequence of reactions. The pyruvic acid from the glycolysis enters the mitochondria and then gets oxidized to acetyl CoA with the help of the pyruvic dehydrogenase complex. Acetyl CoA is the fuel for the TCA cycle.

There are a series of 8 reactions in the TCA cycle that end up in the production of 2 carbon dioxide molecules and the generation of 3 NADH and 1 FADH. The first step of the cycle involves the condensation of the acetyl CoA with an oxaloacetate; this oxaloacetate gets regenerated at the end of the cycle so you find that an infinite number of acetyl CoA will get totally oxidized through a single oxaloacetate.

The rate determining steps of the TCA cycle are catalysed by the enzymes Citrate Synthase, Isocitrate Dehydrogenase and a-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase. The underlying mechanism is dictated by substrate availability, product inhibition and inhibition by other substrate intermediates."

Why Do You Need to Know about Biochemical Processes?

Understanding what happens inside the body (animal or human) is a basis for influence what happens to the body.
This has obvious advantages for anyone who wants or needs to influence body chemistry; from fitness professionals to farmers.

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