Comparative Animal Biochemistry (16071P)

Responsible: Dr Jose Maria Monserrat
Credits: 02 (15 h/a T 15 h/a P)
Offered: Oct./Dec.

To train the student in the understanding of the mechanisms involved in the control of different metabolic processes in responses to changes in the internal or external environment from a perspective that analyzes the strategies used by different groups of animals of interest to Aquaculture. The analyzed biochemical responses include strategies both against adverse environmental conditions (lack of oxygen, temperature variations, etc.) and contamination problems, especially those related to the toxicity of nitrogenous compounds and cyanotoxins. New topics of importance for Aquaculture such as the use of antioxidant supplements and the application of nanotechnology are also addressed.

Unit 1
Principles of metabolic control and regulation. Control of enzyme activity through changes in substrate concentration, pH variation, allosteric modulators, and reversible covalent modifications. Other types of control: association and dissociation of multimeric enzyme subunits. Cooperative mechanisms: Hill's equation and other mathematical models.

Unit 2
Mitochondria as a cellular compartment of key biochemical processes: Krebs cycle and respiratory chain. Strategies used to minimize the production of active oxygen species (EAO) through uncoupler proteins. Proton permeability in the internal mitochondrial membrane of ectothermic organisms. Use of antioxidant supplements applied to Aquaculture.

Unit 3
Biochemical responses to limited oxygen availability. Pasteur effect and glycolysis control. Mechanisms of long-term survival in anoxic conditions. Metabolic depression: control of membrane transport and protein synthesis.

Unit 4
Toxicological biochemistry. Concept of phase 0, I, II, and III in the metabolism of toxic compounds in aquatic organisms. Enzymatic systems involved: mixed-function monooxygenases, reduced glutathione, and glutathione-S-transferase. Toxicity of nitrogenous compounds and cyanotoxins. Nanotechnology topics applied to Aquaculture.

  • References
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    - Sinha AK, AbdElgawad H, Zinta G, Dasan AF, Rasoloniriana R, Asard H, et al. (2015) Nutritional status as the key modulator of antioxidant responses induced by high environmental ammonia and salinity stress in European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax). PLoS ONE 10(8): e0135091. (
    - Storey, K.B. (2004). Functional Metabolism. Regulation and adaptation. Ed.Wiley-Liss, 594 pp.