Cellular Biochemistry
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleNWI-BP007C
Credits (ECTS)6
Category01 (Introduction)
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Science; BioWetenschappen;
PreviousNext 2
dr. J.M. Eeftens
Other course modules lecturer
dr. J.H.A. Martens
Other course modules lecturer
dr. J.H.A. Martens
Other course modules lecturer
dr. H. Zhou
Other course modules lecturer
dr. H. Zhou
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2022
KW2  (07/11/2022 to 29/01/2023)
Starting block
Course mode
RemarksStudents who want to follow this course as part of a premaster or minor, contact the premaster/minor student advisor
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesNo
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-
Course objectives
This course is to give the first-year bachelor students an introduction of basic concepts of biochemistry and cell biology in animal cells.
Learning goals
Upon completing this course, the student is able to:
  1. Understand and analyse how biological macromolecules in the cell are constructed and how they function.
  2. Understand how certain nutrients are taken up and via which metabolic pathway these nutrients are degraded for energy gain.
  3. Understand how the above processes functionally interact and how they are involved in human biology and diseases, particularly the onset and progression of cancer.
  4. Apply the biochemical and cell biological knowledge to describe the physiological function of molecular components and regulators of the cell biological processes mentioned above.
  5. Work in a team/pairs, able to divide the tasks and share gained results with the team.
  6. Report their performed research in the form of a scientific report

Specific learning goals for the content of the course
Upon completing this course, the student is able to:
  1. Understand basic properties of amino acids.
  2. Understand and describe the primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary structure of proteins based on fundamental chemical bonds mediating life.
  3. Describe the principles of experimental methods used to determine experimentally properties of proteins such as molecular mass or isoelectric point and methods used to separate and purify proteins.
  4. Analyze the most important parameters for enzyme kinetics and the role of different types of inhibitors.
  5. Understand and describe the properties of fatty acids, cholesterol and phospholipids and their role in the composition and behaviour of cellular membranes.
  6. Understand and describe how sugar structures originate and give rise to functional polymers.
  7. Understand the role Gibbs energy plays in chemical reactions and based on that indicate whether single or coupled chemical reactions can proceed spontaneously.
  8. Understand and describe key aspects of the structure and function cytoskeleton in movement and adhesion.
  9. Understand and describe key aspects of cell communication and cell signal transduction through membrane receptors and secondary messengers.
  10. Understand and describe basic concepts of cell cycle regulation including processes during the various stages of the cell cycle and how polypeptide growth factors can control the cell cycle.
  11. Understand the evolutionary differences between cellular proto-oncogenes, activated cellular oncogenes and viral oncogenes, how activated cellular oncogenes and viral oncogenes give normal cells an autonomous growth behavior and how dominant activating mutations in cellular proto-oncogenes may lead to tumour growth.
  12. Understand the differences between normal cells, tumour cells and stem cells.

Topics Cellular biochemistry
  • Interactions in aqueous systems and amino acids
  • Protein structure, folding and processing of proteins
  • Protein detection and purification
  • Protein function: enzymes, mechanisms, kinetics and inhibitors
  • Catabolism of amino acids and fatty acids/lipids
  • Principles of bioenergetics
  • Carbohydrates & Glycoconjugates
  • Protein function: cytoskeleton
  • Receptors and signal transduction 1&2
  • Tumor suppressor genes and oncogenes
  • Cell cycle regulation in normal cells, stem cells and tumor cells
Instructional modes
  • Lecture
  • Response course
  • Tutorial
  • Self-study
1st year bachelor, mandatory course
Presumed foreknowledge
Dutch high school vwo-level, chemistry and biology knowledge required 
Test information
The final grade consists of 80% the exam score and 20% the lab practical score and must be 5.5 to pass the course. Please note that a minimum score of 5.5 for both the written exam and the lab practical is needed to pass the exam. 
Additional comments Cellular Biochemistry Students are asked to attend compulsory learning activities: (content) tutorials, the computer practical and the lab practical and related feedback sessions on the report. All learning activities are complementary to lectures, because not all course content can be elaborated in the lectures! Tutorials and the computer practical rehearse lectures and give you a chance to practice using the content. The lab practical gives you an opportunity to execute experiments using the content of one of the topics and to understand the topic in depth. All these learning activities together synergize to cover the matter you need to learn for this course.

The course is mainly based on one books: “Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry” (8th edition), Authors, David L Nelson, Michael Cox, ISBN 9781319150877. Students are asked to learn through all educational activities in the course, the lectures, tutorials and practicals. The lecture slides and assignments for the tutorials, computer and lab practicals are available in Brightspace.
For complementary reading, we recommendMolecular Cell Biology” (8th Edition), Authors: Arnold Berk, Chris A. Kaiser, Harvey Lodish, Angelika Amon, Hidde Ploegh, Anthony Bretscher, Monty Krieger, Kelsey C. Martin, ISBN 9781464187445
The lectures of this academic year will be recorded on video. You will find the recordings on Brightspace.

In the case of not being able to attend one or more practical courses/lab days due to corona measures, the course coordinator will decide whether the student is obligated to re-take the missed meeting and how this will take place.
Required materials
“Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry” (8th edition), Authors, David L Nelson, Michael Cox, ISBN 9781319150877
Title:Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry
Author:David L Nelson, Michael Cox
Course guide
Course manual
Course guide
Lecture slides, explanations about the lab courses and computer practical courses

Instructional modes
Course occurrence

Lab course
Attendance MandatoryYes

Digital Exam
Test weight4
Test typeDigital exam with CIRRUS
OpportunitiesBlock KW2, Block KW3

Test weight1
Test typeLab course
OpportunitiesBlock KW2