BIOL 3231: Biochemistry

Students examine the structure, function, synthesis and degradation of macromole¬cules (carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids, and proteins). The biochemistry of DNA repair and intracellular transport of proteins is also addressed.


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

  • Summarize the concepts learnt in Introductory Biochemistry course.
  • 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 DNA fingerprinting, sequencing and illustrate polymerase chain reaction.
  • 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.
  • Communicate scientific knowledge and results effectively.
  • Critically evaluate scientific literature and communicate your critique effectively.

Course outline

  • Lesson 1: Course Introduction
  • Lesson 2: Polysaccharides
  • Lesson 3: Lipids
  • Lesson 4: DNA Synthesis
  • Lesson 5: DNA Mutation and Repair
  • Lesson 6: DNA Technologies
  • Lesson 7: Review Lessons 1 to 6
  • Lesson 8: RNA Synthesis and Transcription
  • Lesson 9: Protein Synthesis
  • Lesson 10: Protein Form and Function
  • Lesson 11: Protein Transport
  • Lesson 12: Review Lessons 8 to 11

Required text and materials

The following text would have been purchased in BIOL 3131. If students don't already own the required textbook, please be aware that students will need to purchase it. To do so, please contact Enrolment Services at or 1.800.663.9711 (toll-free in Canada), 250.852.7000 (Kamloops, BC), and 1.250.852.7000 (International).

Note: The online resources used in this course are not required, but are recommended. The ISBN for the standalone text is 978-1-4641-2611-6.

  1. Nelson D, Cox M. 2017. Lehninger: Principles of biochemistry & SaplingPlus (24-month access). 7th ed. New York (NY): W. H. Freeman and Company.
    Type: Textbook: ISBN: 978-1-3191-2587-5


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.

Problem Discussions Part A (Answer 2 of 6) 5%
Problem Discussions Part B (Answer 2 of 6) 5%
  • Quiz 1 (Lesson 2 & 3) 6%
  • Quiz 2 (Lessons 4 to 6) 6%
  • Quiz 3 (Lessons 8 to 10) 8%
Clinical Case Study Presentation 10%
Assignment 1: Article Critique 20%
Assignment 2: Questions (Lessons 2 to 6) 5%
Assignment 3: Questions (Lessons 8 to 11) 5%
Final Exam (mandatory) 30%
Total 100%

Open Learning Faculty Member

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.

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