Syllabus for Molecular Recognition in Biological Systems

Molekylär igenkänning i biologiska system


  • 15 credits
  • Course code: 1KB425
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Chemistry A1F
  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with credit (4), Pass with distinction (5)
  • Established: 2017-03-09
  • Established by:
  • Revised: 2018-08-30
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Applies from: Spring 2019
  • Entry requirements:

    One of the following is required: (1) 120 credits with 60 credits in chemistry, including 20 credits in biochemistry, or (2) 120 credits with 30 credits in chemistry and 30 credits in biology, including 20 credits in biochemistry, or (2) 120 credits within the Master's Programme in Molecular Biotechnology Engineering, including Cell Biology, 15 credits. Also required is 10 credits at Master's level. Proficiency in English equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English 6.

  • Responsible department: Department of Chemistry - BMC

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • explain molecular recognition based on fundamental structural, mechanistic, kinetic and thermodynamic principles
  • explain common concepts used to describe molecular interactions, such as affinity, specificity, selectivity and avidity
  • compare how common biological, biochemical and biophysical methods for the study of molecular interactions work and argue for the choice of method based on what information they can provide
  • describe and analyse three-dimensional structures of complexes between biomacromolecules and other molecules, and use computer-based molecular graphics for this
  • discuss biologically relevant aspects of the interactions between macromolecules and other macromolecules/ligands
  • summarize and describe principles and applications for diagnostic purposes of a current method based on molecular recognition


Molecular interaction mechanisms and forces between molecules: selectivity, affinity, kinetics and thermodynamics. The effect of the environment on interactions.

Structure and dynamics of biomacromolecules and their complexes: selectivity, multivalency, avidity. Various types of biomolecular interactions: protein­-ligand, protein­-protein, DNA-­protein, RNA-­protein och lipid-protein.

Inhibition of interactions.

Applications: design of ligands, modification of proteins and nucleic acids to alter their interactions with other macromolecules or ligands.

Biological, biochemical and biophysical methods for the identification and characterisation of molecular interactions.

Modelling of interactions by molecular graphics and structural information.

Bioinformatics of protein-protein interactions.

Examples of how biological systems can be described in terms of the molecular interactions involved.

Application of molecular interaction analysis in life science research, drug discovery and diagnostics.


Lectures, tutorials, laboratory work and projects. Tutorials, laboratory work and projects are compulsory and are performed individually.


A written examination is organised at the end of the course (10 credits). Laboratory work, exercises and projects are examined during the course and are equivalent to 5 credits. The final grade is given as a weighted average of the written examination and the other examined components.

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the disability coordinator of the university.

Other directives

The course can not be included in higher education qualification together with 1KB454 Molecular Recognition in Biological Systems, 15 cr.

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: Autumn 2021

Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.

Scientific articles and internet resources are the main resources

  • Lim, Wendell; Mayer, Bruce; Pawson, T. Cell signaling : principles and mechanisms


    This book covers parts of the course and is recommended for the interested student.

    Find in the library

  • Nelson, David L.; Cox, Michael M. Lehninger principles of biochemistry

    Eighth edition: New York, NY: Macmillan International Higher Education, [2021]

    Find in the library

Reading list revisions

Last modified: 2022-04-26