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Medical Biochemistry

Discover the fascinating world of Medical Biochemistry, unraveling the intricate connections between biology and chemistry to advance our understanding of human health.

USMLE Guide: Medical Biochemistry


The United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) is a three-step examination for medical licensure in the United States. Step 1 assesses basic science knowledge, including medical biochemistry. This guide aims to provide an overview of important topics in medical biochemistry to help you prepare for the usmle step 1 exam.

Biochemical Principles

Cellular Structure and Function

  • Overview of cell structure and organelles
  • Membrane structure and transport mechanisms
  • Cell cycle and cell division

Enzymes and Metabolism

  • Enzyme kinetics and regulation
  • Glycolysis, gluconeogenesis, and the citric acid cycle
  • Oxidative phosphorylation and electron transport chain
  • Lipid metabolism, including fatty acid synthesis and beta-oxidation
  • Protein metabolism, including amino acid synthesis and degradation

DNA, RNA, and Protein Synthesis

  • DNA replication, repair, and recombination
  • Transcription and RNA processing
  • Translation and protein synthesis
  • Genetic code, mutations, and genetic disorders

Biochemical Pathways and Regulation

  • Integration of metabolic pathways
  • Hormonal regulation of metabolism
  • Metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins in different tissues
  • Regulation of gene expression

Clinical Correlations

Inborn Errors of Metabolism

  • Overview of inborn errors of metabolism
  • Diagnostic approaches and screening tests
  • Common inborn errors and their biochemical basis

Cancer Metabolism

  • Altered metabolism in cancer cells
  • Warburg effect and its implications
  • Targeting metabolic pathways for cancer therapy

Biochemical Markers and Diagnostic Tests

  • Laboratory tests for diagnosing and monitoring diseases
  • Biochemical markers of organ damage and dysfunction
  • Interpretation of test results

Pharmacology and Drug Metabolism

  • Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics
  • Drug metabolism and elimination
  • Drug interactions and adverse effects

Study Tips

  • Review basic biochemistry concepts from textbooks and lecture notes
  • Use online resources and review questions to reinforce understanding
  • Create study schedules and allocate dedicated time for medical biochemistry
  • Practice applying knowledge to clinical scenarios through USMLE-style questions
  • Collaborate with peers for group study and discussion


Medical biochemistry is a fundamental component of the USMLE Step 1 exam. Understanding cellular processes, metabolic pathways, and their clinical implications is crucial for success. By following this guide and utilizing effective study strategies, you can enhance your preparation and confidently tackle biochemistry-related questions on the USMLE exam.

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