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Medical Biochemistry at a Glance, 3rd Edition

J. G. Salway

ISBN: 978-0-470-65451-4 January 2012 Wiley-Blackwell 176 Pages


Offering a concise, illustrated summary of biochemistry and its relevance to clinical medicine, Medical Biochemistry at a Glance is intended for students of medicine and the biomedical sciences such as nutrition, biochemistry, sports science, medical laboratory sciences, physiotherapy, pharmacy, physiology, pharmacology, genetics and veterinary science. It also provides a succinct review and reference for medical practitioners and biomedical scientists who need to quickly refresh their knowledge of medical biochemistry.

The book is designed as a revision guide for students preparing for examinations and contains topics that have been identified as 'high-yield' facts for the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), Step 1.

This third edition:

  • Has been thoroughly revised and updated and is now in full colour throughout
  • Is written by the author of the hugely successful Metabolism at a Glance (ISBN 9781405107167)
  • Features updated and improved clinical correlates
  • Expands its coverage with a new section on Molecular Biology
  • Includes a brand new companion website of self-assessment questions and answers at
Preface to the third edition 7

Acknowledgements to the third edition 7

Figure key 8

SI/mass unit conversions 9

Part 1 Acids, bases and pH

1 Acids, bases and hydrogen ions (protons) 10

2 Understanding pH 12

3 Production and removal of protons into and from the blood 14

4 Metabolic alkalosis and metabolic acidosis 16

5 Respiratory alkalosis and respiratory acidosis 18

Part 2 Structure of amino acids and proteins

6 Amino acids and the primary structure of proteins 20

7 Secondary structure of proteins 22

8 Tertiary and quaternary structure and collagen 24

Part 3 Formation of ATP: oxidation and reduction reactions

9 Oxidation/reduction reactions, coenzymes and prosthetic groups 26

10 Anaerobic production of ATP by substrate-level phosphorylation, from phosphocreatine and by the adenylate kinase (myokinase) reaction 28

11 Aerobic production of ATP 30

12 Biosynthesis of ATP by oxidative phosphorylation I 32

13 Biosynthesis of ATP by oxidative phosphorylation II 34

14 What happens when protons or electrons leak from the respiratory chain? 36

15 Free radicals, reactive oxygen species and oxidative damage 38

16 Aerobic oxidation of glucose to provide energy as ATP 40

17 Anaerobic oxidation of glucose by glycolysis to form ATP and lactate 42

18 Anaerobic glycolysis in red blood cells, 2,3-BPG (2,3-DPG) and the Bohr effect 44

Part 4 Carbohydrates

19 Carbohydrates 46

20 Absorption of carbohydrates and metabolism of galactose 48

21 Fate of glucose in liver: glycogenesis and lipogenesis 50

22 Fructose metabolism 52

23 Glucose homeostasis 54

24 Glucose-stimulated secretion of insulin from β-cells 56

25 Regulation of glycogen metabolism 58

26 Glycogen breakdown (glycogenolysis) and glycogen storage diseases 60

27 Insulin signal transduction and diabetes mellitus 62

28 Diabetes mellitus 64

29 Alcohol metabolism: hypoglycaemia, hyperlactataemia and steatosis 66

Part 5 Enzymes and regulation of pathways

30 Enzymes: nomenclature, kinetics and inhibitors 68

31 Regulation of enzyme activity 70

32 Regulation of glycolysis and Krebs cycle 72

33 Oxidation of fatty acids to produce ATP in muscle and ketone bodies in liver 74

34 Regulation of lipolysis, β-oxidation, ketogenesis and gluconeogenesis 76

Part 6 Lipids and lipid metabolism

35 Structure of lipids 78

36 Phospholipids I: phospholipids and sphingolipids 80

37 Phospholipids II: micelles, liposomes, lipoproteins and membranes 82

38 Metabolism of carbohydrate to cholesterol 84

39 VLDL and LDL metabolism I: “forward” cholesterol transport 86

40 VLDL and LDL metabolism II: endogenous triacylglycerol transport 88

41 HDL metabolism: “reverse” cholesterol transport 90

42 Absorption and disposal of dietary triacylglycerols and cholesterol by chylomicrons 92

43 Steroid hormones: aldosterone, cortisol, androgens and oestrogens 94

Part 7 Metabolism of amino acids and porphyrins

44 Urea cycle and overview of amino acid catabolism 96

45 Non-essential and essential amino acids 98

46 Amino acid metabolism: to energy as ATP; to glucose and ketone bodies 100

47 Amino acid disorders: maple syrup urine disease, homocystinuria, cystinuria, alkaptonuria and albinism 102

48 Phenylalanine and tyrosine metabolism in health and disease 104

49 Products of tryptophan and histidine metabolism 106

50 Haem, bilirubin and porphyria 108

Part 8 Vitamins

51 Fat-soluble vitamins I: vitamins A and D 110

52 Fat-soluble vitamins II: vitamins E and K 112

53 Water-soluble vitamins I: thiamin, ribofl avin, niacin and pantothenate 114

54 Water-soluble vitamins II: pyridoxal phosphate (B6) 116

55 Water-soluble vitamins III: folate and vitamin B12 118

56 Water-soluble vitamins IV: biotin and vitamin C 120

Part 9 Molecular biology

57 The cell cycle 122

58 Pyrimidine metabolism 124

59 Purine metabolism 126

60 Structure of DNA 128

61 The “central dogma” of molecular biology 130

62 Organisation of DNA in chromosomes 132

63 Replication of DNA (part 1) 134

64 Replication of DNA (part 2) 136

65 DNA damage and repair 138

66 Transcription of DNA to make messenger RNA (part 1) 140

67 Transcription of DNA to make messenger RNA (part 2) 142

68 Transcription of DNA to make transfer RNA 144

69 Transcription of DNA to make ribosomal RNA 146

70 Translation and protein synthesis 148

71 Comparison of DNA replication, DNA transcription and protein synthesis in eukaryotes and prokaryotes 150

Part 10 Diagnostic clinical biochemistry

72 Diagnostic clinical biochemistry (with Dr J. W. Wright FRCP, MRCPath) 152

Index 154

I have taught biochemistry to medical students and to undergraduates and graduate students, at both Temple University School of Medicine and at Case Western Reserve University, since 1968, so that I have had a great deal of experience in the field and have a feel for what works well for medical students.
Medical Biochemistry at a Glance would be an excellent book for USMLE Step 1. In my experience, medical students (and pre-medical students) would greatly benefit from reading it in preparation for the exam.
This compares very well with Lippincott’s Biochemistry - this has the right price and approach to compete with Lippincott for a less expensive and more accessible alternative to the larger text books that are out there.
I like the way it combines the metabolic pathways and principles in such a creative fashion, and the metabolism sections are among the best I have read and the easiest to understand. Metabolism is a very complicated subject and, in my experience, most teachers of the subject would really benefit from your text. (Richard W. Hanson, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine)
Companion website  features self-assessment questions and answers.
Figure 59.1 (GIF)
ChapterPageDetailsDatePrint Run
126Page 126: Figure 59.1
The Lesch-Nyhan box and icon (bottom left corner of figure) should be positioned so that it is as shown by the figure on the Downloads tab labeled Figure 59.1 (GIF).

127Page 127: Lesch-Nyhan syndrome
The last paragraph should read:
"Lesch-Nyhan syndrome is a rare, X-linked disorder of hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase (HGPRT) in the purine salvage pathway. (Not adenine phophoribosyltransferase).