2021 Basic bioinorganic chemistry

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Academic unit or major
Undergraduate major in Life Science and Technology
Ueno Takafumi  Kamachi Toshiaki  Asakura Noriyuki 
Course component(s)
Lecture    (対面)
Day/Period(Room No.)
Tue1-2(H101)  Fri1-2(H101)  
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
Language used
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Course description and aims

This course will teach you the critical role that metal ions play in biological processes. You will learn that many biological functions are performed at the molecular and the cellular level by metal ions that are incorporated into the metal-binding sites of proteins and enzymes. You will begin this course by reviewing the basic principles of inorganic chemistry and coordination chemistry. Following the brief overview, you will understand hydrolysis, electron transfer, oxygen activation reactions promoted in various biological systems. This course will help you to recognize the importance of inorganic chemistry in various biological systems and understand the principle in biology.

Student learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
1. Explain basic inorganic and coordination Chemistry
2. Explain structures of metalloproteins and metalloenzymes
3. Explain reaction mechanisms of metalloproteins and metalloenzymes


Inorganic chemistry, coordination chemistry, bioinorganic chemistry, metalloprotein, metalloenzyme, biomineral

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

(1)At the beginning of each class, the previous class is reviewed, then the essential points of this class are shown as exercise problems.
(2)Towards the end of class, students are given exercise problems related to what is taught on the begining of class to solve as needed.
(3)Before coming to class, students should read the course outcomes and check what topics will be covered. Required learning should be completed outside of the classroom for preparation and review purposes.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Overview of Bioinorganic chemistry, Metals in Life Understand the discipline of Biological Inorganic Chemistry. Understand the outline of metal ions in biological system and importance of metal ions.
Class 2 Fundamentals in coordination chemistry I Fundamentals of inorganic chemistry for understanding Biological Inorganic Chemistry.
Class 3 Fundamentals in coordination chemistry II Fundamentals of inorganic chemistry for understanding Biological Inorganic Chemistry.
Class 4 Fundamentals in coordination chemistry III Fundamentals of inorganic chemistry for understanding Biological Inorganic Chemistry.
Class 5 Hydrolysis reactionI Hydrolysis reactions in biology
Class 6 Hydrolysis reactionII Structures and functions of hydrolases
Class 7 Summary and midterm exam of class #1-#6 Test level of understanding of the first part of the course
Class 8 Electron transfer I Understand the reaction mechanism of electron transfer
Class 9 Electron transfer II Structure and function of electron transfer proteins
Class 10 Electron transfer III Respiratory chain and photoreaction center
Class 11 Oxygen Activation I Chemistry of oxygen molecule
Class 12 Oxygen Activation II Structures of Oxygen carriers
Class 13 Oxygen Activation III Molecular mechanism of O2 binding to
Class 14 Summary and final exam of class #8-#13 Test level of understanding of the second half of the course

Out-of-Class Study Time (Preparation and Review)

To enhance effective learning, students are encouraged to spend approximately 100 minutes preparing for class and another 100 minutes reviewing class content afterwards (including assignments) for each class.
They should do so by referring to textbooks and other course material.


Basic Bioinorganic Chemistry

Reference books, course materials, etc.

Biophysical Chemistry(ISBN-9784759811407)
Bioinorganic Chemistry (ISBN-10: 4782704836)
Bioinorganic Chemistry (ISBN-10: 4807904574)
The Biological Chemistry of the Elements: The Inorganic Chemistry of Life (ISBN-0198555989)

Assessment criteria and methods

Students’ course scores are based on midterm and final exams

Related courses

  • LST.A201 : Physical Chemistry I
  • CAP.A373 : Inorganic Chemistry (Coordination Chemistry)
  • LST.A338 : Advanced biological inorganic chemistry

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

No prerequisites.


If the number of students needs to be limited due to COVID-19, priority may be given to students of the School of Life Science and Technology.

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