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: 2015-06-04
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Applies from: Autumn 2015
  • 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 structural mechanisms for how important biological processes take place and are controlled, for example catalysis, cell signalling, transcription and translation
  • explain the structure of molecular complexes like ribosomes and proteasomes 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 and analyse the quality of models produced by these methods
  • analyse structural details in macromolecules using a molecular graphics program
  • use databases with information of structure and function of macromolecules
  • use analyse, and critically evaluate results from methods to predict secondary - and tertiary structure of macromolecules
  • explain basic concepts and critically assess the relative strengths and weaknesses of fundamental approaches in computational biology


Basic structural biology and structural bioinformatics:

Methods for experimental structure determination of macromolecules and complexes. Basic macromolecular structure: proteins, DNA, and RNA Biological sequence and structure databases. Relation between sequence, structure and function. Prediction of secondary- and tertiary structure of proteins and nucleic acids based on sequence data. Structure analysis and classification of proteins in structural families.

Structural biology of the cell:

Macromolecular structure and function in transcription, translation, folding and other fields of cell biology. The folding process and structural background to the dynamics of macromolecules.

Enzyme structure and function:

Binding specificity, catalysis and cooperativity in enzymes and receptors.

Enzyme/receptor-based drugs-rational drug design. Introduction to computational modelling of ligand binding, protein folding and enzyme catalysis.


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


Modules: Theory 7 credits; Seminars, computer exercises, and laboratory sessions 3 credits; Project 3.5 credits; Written report in Computational biology 1.5 credits

The theory is examined through written examinations. Computer exercises and laboratory sessions require active participation. The project is examined through written and oral presentation.

Other directives

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

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: Autumn 2015

Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.

The two books are alternatives: one more brief, the other thicker.

  • Liljas, Anders Textbook of structural biology

    New Jersey: World Scientific, cop. 2009

    Find in the library

  • Petsko, Gregory A.; Ringe, Dagmar Protein structure and function

    London: New Science, cop. 2004

    Find in the library

Research Articles

Last modified: 2022-04-26