NPLK15013U  Biochemistry of Protein Complexes

Volume 2016/2017

MSc Programme in Biology-Biotechnology


The course offers practical exercises aimed at acquiring new skills with regard to advanced methods in protein biochemistry. The techniques covered during the course address the analysis of binary protein-protein interactions as well as larger protein complexes. The students will gain experience in protein quantification, bimolecular fluorescence complementation in plant cells, blue native PAGE, free-flow electrophoresis, and protein-protein pull-down assays combined with mass spectrometry. In addition to hands-on experience, the course will provide theoretical background on protein biochemistry with special focus on protein complexes.

Learning Outcome

The course aims at providing both practical experience in and theoretical knowledge of basic principles and methods used to study protein complexes.

After completing the course the students should be able to:


  • Describe the biochemical properties of proteins with regard to their ability to form large protein complexes.

  • Describe basic principles of different methods used to study protein complexes.


  • Carry out protein work in the lab combining different basic and advanced methods.

  • Analyse, interpret and conclude from results acquired by using bimolecular fluorescence complementation, blue native PAGE, free-flow electrophoresis, and protein-protein pull-down experiments.


  • Present, explain, and discuss results obtained in the lab in a broader biological context.

  • Reflect upon the advantages and limitations of complementary techniques used to analyze protein complexes.

Laboratory manuals including theoretical background for each practical exercise is made available on Absalon together with the research articles discussed during the course. The textbook ‘Protein Biochemistry and Proteomics (Experimenter), Hubert Rehm, Academic Press, 2006’ is suggested as background literature for the course. The literature changes from year to year dependent on the chosen topics.

Solid basic knowledge in biochemistry and molecular biology is required.
The course comprises lab exercises combined with theoretical exercises and lectures that provide the theoretical background for the experiments. In small teams, the students carry out different experiments as specified in the description of the exercises. The results of the exercises are discussed with fellow students and teachers in designated sessions.
Type of assessment
Written assignment
The students have to hand in the written assingment one week after the course. The assignment will cover theories and methods taught in the lectures and the theoretical and practical exercises
Exam registration requirements

An oral presentation of results obtained in the practical exercises and the respective background must be accepted in order to be eligible for the exam.

Marking scale
passed/not passed
Censorship form
No external censorship
One internal examiner
Exam period

The students have to hand in the written assignment one week after the course.


Reexamination is an alternative written assignment.

If the exam registration requirement is not met, there will be an 30 min oral examination, as well, where the student is examined in the methods, theories and results from the exercises taught in the course.

Criteria for exam assesment

The topics for the written assignment include theories and methods taught in the lectures and the theoretical and practical exercises.

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Practical exercises
  • 44
  • Theory exercises
  • 12
  • Lectures
  • 12
  • Preparation
  • 69,5
  • Total
  • 137,5