Syllabus for Structure and Function of Macromolecules

Makromolekylers struktur och funktion

A revised version of the syllabus is available.


  • 15 credits
  • Course code: 1BG349
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Biology A1N, Applied Biotechnology A1N
  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with credit (4), Pass with distinction (5)
  • Established: 2008-03-13
  • Established by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Revised: 2012-04-26
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Applies from: Autumn 2012
  • Entry requirements:

    150 credits complete courses including alternative alt 1) 60 credits biology and 30 credits chemistry or 30 credits earth sciences; alternative alt 2) 90 credits biology alt 3) appointed to the Master programme in chemistry, specialisation biochemistry.

  • Responsible department: Biology Education Centre

Learning outcomes

The overall goal of this course is to give students advanced knowledge of the relationship between the structure and function of biomolecules. After completing the course, the student should be able to

  • account for the basis of biological macromolecules constitution and traits
  • explain the basis of biological catalysis
  • explain mechanisms for how important biological processes take place and are controlled, for example cell signalling, transcription and translation
  • explain the structure of molecular complexes like ribosomes and viruses and aggregates like filaments and tubules
  • account for the principles of the most important methods for structural analysis: X-ray crystallography, NMR spectroscopy and electron microscopy
  • used databases with information of structure and function of macromolecules
  • use and analyse results from methods to predict secondary - and tertiary structure of macromolecules. Explain how drugs aimed against biological macromolecules are developed using rational drug design

    For students who take the course as starting course in the Master's programme in Biology, an introduction to Master's studies is included. After passing this module, the student should be able to

  • demonstrate an awareness of ethical aspects of research and development, including questions of plagiarism
  • demonstrate insight into the potential and limitations of biology and its role in society
  • demonstrate an ability to identify his/her need of further knowledge.


Methods for the determination of macromolecules structure and interaction.

Basic macromolecular structure: DNA, RNA, protein, lipids and carbohydrates. The folding process and structural background to the dynamics of macromolecules.

Binding specificity, catalysis and cooperativity in enzymes and receptors.

Macromolecular function in transcription, translation, signalling and other fields of cell biology. Biological structure databases.

Structure analysis and classification of proteins in structural families.

Relation between sequence, structure and function. Computer modelling of secondary- and tertiary structure of proteins and nucleic acid based on sequence data. Enzyme/receptor-based drugs-rational drug design.


Instruction is provided in the form of lectures, computer exercises, seminars and literature projects. Participation in computer exercises, seminars and literature project are compulsory.


Modules: Theory 8 credits; Computer exercises and laboratory session 3 credits; Literature project 4 credits

The theory is examined through a written examination. Computer exercises and laboratory sessions require active participation. For the introduction to Master's studies, active participation in seminars, written report and fulfiled study planning are required. The literature assignment is presented in writing.

Other directives

Can not be included in the degree together with 1BG351 Structure and Function of Biomolecules of 10 credits.

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: Autumn 2012

Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.

  • Liljas, Anders Textbook of structural biology

    New Jersey: World Scientific, cop. 2009

    Find in the library

Last modified: 2022-04-26