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The module reviews the pathways of fatty acid degradation (beta-oxidation) before describing the biochemistry of the multi-functional proteins that catalyse the formation of fatty acids. The mechanisms of fatty acid elongation and desaturation are covered along with the synthesis of triacylglycerols and glycerophospholipids with consideration being being given to the control of these pathways. The synthesis of cholesterol via the mevalonate pathway is described along with the various metabolic control points and an understanding of dietary lipid transport. The further metabolism of cholesterol to bile salts, steroid hormones and vitamin D is outlined with consideration given to the stereochemistry of these compounds. The module provides a sound basis for understanding the metabolism of amino acids, lipids and steroids. The pathways of amino acid synthesis and degradation in humans are described along with an introduction to the urea cycle.
The ever increasing availability of genome sequences and protein structure data demands that molecular biologists are proficient at performing extensive data analyses to guide and support traditional laboratory-based research. This Module will provide the theoretical basis and practical training on computational tools currently used to assemble and interrogate genome sequences, infer gene and protein functions, and to examine protein structure data.