DOH231 Dental Biochemistry (8)

This subject provides a foundation level understanding of the structure and function of biological macromolecules (proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids) and the major metabolic and bio-energetic pathways within cells. The subject also includes study of calcium and phosphorus metabolism and an introduction to nutritional biochemistry. Oral biochemistry provides the basis for further studies by Dentistry students in applied genetics, immunology, pathology, pharmacology-therapeutics and in clinical dental subjects.


Session 1 (30)
On Campus
Orange Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: DOH231. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Biomedical Sciences

Enrolment Restrictions

Restricted to Bachelor of Dental Science students only.

Assumed Knowledge

This subject has no prerequisites although successful completion of first-year University level Chemistry is assumed (CHM 107 or CHM102 or CHM108 or equivalent).

Incompatible Subjects

BCM210, BCM211, BCM411

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to describe the structure and function of the four major classes of biological macromolecules (proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids) and understand the relationship between structure and function;
  • be able to describe the properties of enzymes as biological catalysts;
  • be able to describe the role of energy in living cells, with particular reference to the concept of free energy and the role of ATP;
  • be able to describe the major metabolic pathways used to synthesise and consume ATP;
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of common techniques used in the study of biochemistry;
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of normal calcium and phosphorus metabolism and its relationships to tooth and bone formation, mechanisms of mineralisation and its roles in relation to the maintenance of calcified dental tissue integrity


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • a review of subcellular structure and common organic functional groups of relevance to biochemistry, and the role of water in biochemical processes - hydrogen bonding, acid-base behaviour;
  • structure and function of major macromolecules (proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids);
  • enzyme function and kinetic properties;
  • free energy changes and the role of ATP in cellular energy conservation;
  • major metabolic pathways including glycolysis, gluconeogenesis, glycogen metabolism, pentose phosphate pathway, citric acid cycle, mitochondrial electron transport chain, fatty acid metabolism, amino acid metabolism;
  • regulation of metabolic pathways;
  • calcium and phosphorous metabolism

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of DOH231 in Session 1 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Mid-session exam (mse)
Methods used in biochemistry
Final exam

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.