The course aims at giving:
1) a general knowledge of the biosynthetic pathways of secondary metabolism;
2) information about the main natural products derived from microorganism, plants and animals and their role in natural environment;
3) knowledge on the structure/biological activity relationship of the main secondary metabolites used in pharmaceutical and healthcare industry.
4) attainment of the basic educational background necessary to understand the chemical equilibria that regulate the origins, the transport, the transformations and the effects of the environmental chemical species, either of natural or human origin.


teacher profile | materiale didattico


-Introductory notes on the chemistry of natural substances. Characteristics of secondary metabolites. Allelopatic substances. The biosintetic ways of secondary metabolism.
Metabolism of acetate. Prostaglandins. Aromatic polychetides. Anthraquinones. Cannabinoids. Aflatoxins. Tetracycline.
The metabolism of shikimato. Biogenesis of shikimato. Cinnamic acids. Lignins. Fenilpropani. Benzoic acids. Coumarins. Flavonoids. Tannins. Isoflavones. Terpenoid chinons.
The metabolism of the mevalonate. Biogenesis of mevalonic acid. The various types of terpens and derived compounds. Iridoids. Gibberellins. Structural characteristics of animal steroids. Phytosterols.
Alcaloids: definition, original amino acids and nomenclature. Biosynthesis and activities of the main types of alcaloids: cocaine, nicotine, curari, morphine, loganin, lysergic acid, coniine.
Notes on carbohydrates. Cianogenic glucosides. Streptomycin.
Secondary metabolites of peptidic origin. Interferons. Opious peptides. Peptidic toxins: ricina and botulino. Penicillins.
Basic principles of environmental chemistry. Interactions between the various spheres in which the terrestrial environment is divided.
The atmosphere: notes on training and depositing of the ozone (buco dell'ozono); effect of cfc and halon. Notes on oxidizing and polluting species and their monitoring. The particulate: ipa and phthalates. The serra effect: main gas-greenhouse and their gwp. The kyoto protocol.
The hydrosphere. Chemical-physical properties of water and water bodies. TIC, TOC, TC. Biodegradable organic pollutants (COD, BOD5), of difficult oxidation and toxic (LD50 and LOD50).
Bioaccumulation and biomagnification. Metabolism of some pesticides.

Testi Adottati

P.M. DEWICK : "Medicinal Natural Products" Wiley Ed.
C. BAIRD, M. CANN “Environmantal Chemistry”,

Modalità Erogazione

The course is based on face-to-face lessons using pwp presentations.

Modalità Valutazione

The evaluation takes place through the presentation of a pwp lecture on a molecule of interest. Recent literature articles on the subject should be studied. The presentation must deal with: -the biosynthetic pattern, where known; -the biological effects on microorganisms, plants or animals; -any therapeutic uses specifying the biochemical and/or physiological role.