BIOCHEMISTRY III (Animal Biochemical Processes) BSC303

Biochemistry III now provides you with a more in depth look at the biochemical processes that drive all animal life on Earth.

This course will build on your existing knowledge to help prepare you for work in a human or animal health or science related profession, as practitioner, educator or researcher.  This course extends from enzymes, glycolysis, fatty acid oxidation to electron transport and lipid and animo acid metabolism and more. 

Prerequisite: Biochemistry II or equivalent

Students enrolled in this course will learn to explain a range of common biochemical processes with an emphasis upon animal and human biochemical processes ranging from gluconeogenesis to neuclotides metabolism and much more. Of course, being part of ACS distance education program, you have the luxury of studying biochemistry at your own pace and in your own home. Take part of this intriguing and informative journey by enrolling now.

Prerequistes: Biochemistry II or similar.
Nominal Duration: 100 hours


  • Explain the interaction between the various biochemical processes within the animal cell.
  • Explain the processes of glycolysis and glycogen metabolism.
  • Understand the transport mechanism of bio-chemicals through animal membranes.
  • Explain the processes of electron transfer and oxidative phosphorylation, and their importance to energy regulation in animals.
  • Explain the metabolism of carbohydrates.
  • Explain the metabolism of lipids
  • Explain the metabolism of amino acids.
  • Explain biochemical nucleotide metabolism
  • Explain enzyme reactions and catalysis in biochemistry.
  • Explain other biochemical processes including biochemical communication through hormones and neurotransmission.


There are ten lessons in this module as follows:

Lesson Content

1. Introduction

What is metabolism, cell components, energy, ATP, oxidation - reduction.

2. Glycolysis and Glycogen Metabolism

What is glycolysis, the phases of glycolysis, pyruvate, glycogen and more.

3. Movement through Membranes

Transport mechanisms, different types of cellular transport.

4. Electron Transport and Oxidative Phosphorylation

Oxidative phosphorylation, citric acid cycle and more.

5. Sugar and Polysaccharide Metabolism

Gluconeogenesis, pentose phosphate pathway and more.

6.Lipid Metabolism

Fatty oxidation including beta oxidation, unsaturated fatty acid oxidation, ketone bodies, biosynthesis of fatty acids and more.

7.Amino Acid Metabolism

Transamination, amino acid catabolic processes, the urea cycle and biosynthesis.

8.Nucleotide Metabolism

Synthesis and regulation, nucleotide degradation, purines, nucleotide co-enzymes etc.

9.Enzyme Activity

Classification and kinetics, regulation etc.

10.Other Processes

Hormones, neurotransmitters and signal cascades and more.

Below are some course extracts:

Lesson 6 Extract


In liver mitochondria, the acetyl CoA can either undergo further oxidation (via the citric acid pathway) or undergo a process known as ketogenesis. Here acetoacetate or D Beta hydroxybutyrate is formed from acetyl CoA. These are referred to as ketone bodies. Ketone Bodies are a metabolic fuel for primarily the heart and skeletal muscles. The brain may also use them as fuel during periods of starvation when acetyl CoA entry into the krebs cycle is slowed due to the lack of oxaloacetate in the liver.


There are three main enzymes used in the production of ketone bodies. These are:

· ketothiolase (or acetyle CoA acetyltransferase);

· HMG coA synthase (hydroxymethylglutaryl CoA synthase) and

· HMG CoA lyase (hydroxymethylglutaryl CoA lyase).

Lesson 7 Extract


Select amino acids have an addition function as precursors to a wide range of important molecules. Such molecules include heme, some hormones, nucleotides and their coenzymes, glutathione and probably the best known are the neurotransmitters.


Heme is an important molecule involved in many proteins such as hemoglobin, cytochrones and myoglobin. It was first determined in 1945 by Shemin and Rittenberg whom used isotopic tracers and determine the pathway, they demonstrated that all the heme’s N and C atoms were all in fact derived from glycine and acetate.


Heme biosynthesis occurs in the mitochondria, where glycinea and Succinyl-CoA are condensed forming ALA (Delta-aminolevulinic acid). The ALA is then passed to the cytosol, here ALA dehydratase links two molecules of ALA to form a pyrrol ring compound called porphobilinogen (PGB) Inhibition of the formation of PGB is a major sign of lead poisoning. Four PGB molecules are then condensed to form a porphyrin ring. This is then converted to uroporphyrinogen III via several steps. Protoporphyrin IX is the molecule to which Fe is added to form heme, this molecule is derived from uroporphyrinogen III by three steps.