[WU - Biochemistry ]

Laboratory of Biochemistry

Department of Agrotechnology and Food Sciences

Wageningen University

Enzymology (BIC-20806)

General Study Guide


Dr. W.M.A.M. van Dongen (Biochemistry) Dr. W.J.H. van Berkel (Biochemistry), Dr. M.C.R. Franssen (Organic chemistry)


The Enzymology course consists of two modules:
- Module Biocatalysis: 24 lectures on the principles of chemical and enzymatic catalysis.
- Module Protein purification: a 2-week practical course during which several proteins will be purified.

In the Biocatalysis module, the most important principles in homogenic an enzymatic catalysis are reviewed. Subjects covered are: chemical and enzymatic catalysis, effects of fluctuations and entropy, acid-base and nucleophilic catalysis, co-enzyme chemistry and enzymes containing cofactors and free-enegery relationships. These subjects are illustrated with a number of enzymes and enzymatic reactions.

Study of catalytic mechanisms requires a very high purity of enzymes. The practical course Protein purification comprises isolation and purification of enzymes from cells or tissues, applying methods that make use of their physico-chemical properties. During the practicals, a number of proteins/enzymes is purified with precipitation methods and different chromatographic techniques (gel filtration, ion-exchange chromatography, bio-affinity chromatography, adsorption chromatography). Initial characterization of the purified proteins will be performed as well.


Enzymology is scheduled in period 5. The lectures on Biocatalysis are in weeks 34 - 37, followed by an exam in week 38.
The practical course Enzymology is organized twice, in weeks 39 - 40 and in weeks 41 - 42.
The practical course is concluded with a test.

Study materials

Biocatalysis lectures:

During the Biocatalysis lectures the following book is used:
Berg, J.M., Tymoczko, J.L. & Stryer, L.: Biochemistry (5th ed)
(W.H. Freeman Co., ISBN 0-7167-4684-0, for sale at Kniphorst bookstore)
A Course book "Enzymology 2006" (BIC-20806") should be bought at the WUR shop/van Gils, before the beginning of the course.
Powerpoint presentations of the lectures can be downloaded here: Biocatalysis.

Practical course Enzymology:

The manual for the practical course (Practical course Enzymology, nr. 6032702) should be bought at the WUR shop, Bornsesteeg 47, before the start of the practicals.
The practical course has 5 lectures on protein purification.
Copies of overheads presented during these lectures can be found here: Word documents.


The final mark Enzymology is composed of three parts:

A:   Partial mark for the exam on the Biocatalysis module. The Biocatalysis mark is 50% of the final mark; the minimal mark is 5.5
B:   Partial mark for performance during the practicals on enzyme purification (25% of the final mark, minimal mark 5.5)
C:   Partial mark for the test on the theory of protein purification (25% of the final mark, minimal mark 5.5).

Sufficient partial marks for the Biocatalysis module or for the Practical course (the average of the marks for performance and test) remain valid.


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© WU - Februari 2004 AHW.