BIOL 3231

3.0 Credits


This course covers topics on the structure, function, synthesis, and degradation of macromolecules (carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids, and proteins). The biochemistry of DNA repair and intracellular transport of proteins will also be covered.

Delivery Method

Online, Paced


BIOL 3131 is strongly recommended (with a minimum of a C).


Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Compare and contrast the polysaccharides used for energy storage with those having a structural function. Describe how these macromolecules are synthesized and discuss metabolic control
  • Describe how the structure of triacylglycerols (TAGs) and membrane lipids suit their respective functions and explain how they are synthesized.
  • Describe the three components of a nucleotide and describe the structure of nucleic acids.
  • Explain the process of DNA synthesis, including initiation and processing in prokaryotes and eukaryotes.
  • Describe how mutations arise and how DNA is repaired.
  • Describe how RNA is synthesized from DNA (the process of transcription).
  • Compare and contrast how prokaryotes and eukaryotes regulate their gene expression.
  • Describe how proteins are synthesized from mRNA. Discuss the functions of ribosomes and tRNA in the process of translation.
  • Explain how proteins fold and how their form suits their function and describe common secondary structure elements
  • Describe how proteins are transported to their cellular locations.
  • Explain the importance of protein degradation and describe how it occurs
  • Critically evaluate scientific literature and Communicate your critique effectively
  • Demonstrate an ability to work collaboratively

Course Outline

  • Polysaccharides
  • Lipids
  • Enzymes
  • DNA Synthesis
  • Mutation and Repair
  • DNA Technologies
  • RNA synthesis
  • Protein synthesis
  • Protein Form and Function
  • Protein Transport

Maximum Completion

16 Weeks.

Required Text and Materials

BIOL 3231 is a companion course to BIOL 3131.

If you have taken BIOL 3131 you would have received the textbook 'Principles of Biochemistry'. If you do not already own this textbook, you will need to source it on your own or contact Student Services at Alternatively, you may also send an email to or call 1.888.663.1653.

Please note: Students enrolling in this course will also have the option of using either the 6th or 7th edition of the text as listed below.

    1. Nelson, D., and Cox, M. Lehninger: Principles of Biochemistry. 6th edition. New York: W.H. Freeman and Company, 2012.
    Type: Textbook, ISBN: 978-1-4292-3414-6
    2a. Nelson, D., and Cox, M. Lehninger: Principles of Biochemistry. 7th edition. New York: W.H. Freeman and Company, 2017.
    Type: Textbook, ISBN: 978-1-4641-2611-6
    2b. Osgood, M., Ocorr, K. Principles of Biochemistry Study Guide and Solutions Manual. 7th edition. New York: W.H. Freeman and Company, 2017.
    Type: Textbook, ISBN: 978-1-4641-8797-1

Additional Requirements

Computer with Internet is required.

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Primary communication is through the Learning Environment's "Mail" tool or by phone. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.


To successfully complete this course, students must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course, and 50% or higher on the final mandatory exam.

Discussions 10%
Quizzes 20%
Major Project 35%
Final Exam * 35%
Total 100%

* Mandatory