What are the Branches of Biochemistry ?

The cornerstone of classical biochemistry research focuses on the properties of proteins, many of which are enzymes. However, there are other disciplines that focus on the biological properties of carbohydrates (Glucobiology) and lipids (Lipobiology). For historical reasons of metabolic chemistry of the cell has been intensively investigated in important current research (as the Genome Project, whose function is to identify and record all the human genetic material), they are directed toward the investigation of DNA, the RNA, the protein synthesis, the dynamics of cell membrane and energy cycles.

The branches of biochemistry are vast and diverse, and have varied over time and the progress of biology, chemistry and physics.

What are the Branches of Biochemistry ?

Branches of Biochemistry :

Structural biochemistry:

An area of biochemistry which aims to understand the chemical architecture of biological macromolecules, especially proteins and nucleic acids (DNA and RNA). And attempting to meet the peptide sequences, and conformal structure and physico-chemical atomic interactions that enable these structures. One of the greatest challenges is to determine the structure of a protein knowing only the amino acid sequence, which would be essential for the rational design of proteins (protein engineering) base.

Bio-organic Chemistry:

An area of chemistry that deals with the study of organic compounds (ie, those having carbon-carbon or carbon-hydrogen covalent bonds) that come specifically from living things. It is a science closely related to the classical biochemistry, since in most carbon biological compounds involved. While classical biochemical helps to understand the biological processes based on knowledge of structure, chemical bonding, molecular interactions and reactivity of organic molecules, the bioorganic chemistry tries to integrate the knowledge of organic synthesis, reaction mechanisms, structural analysis and analytical methods with primary and secondary metabolic reactions, biosynthesis, cell recognition and chemical diversity of living organisms. From there arises Natural Products Chemistry (Secondary metabolism).

Enzymology :

Studies the behaviour of biological catalysts or enzymes, such as certain proteins and certain catalytic RNA and the coenzymes and cofactors such as metals and vitamins. So the mechanisms of catalysis is questioned, the processes of interaction of enzymes-substrate catalytic transition states, enzymatic activities, reaction kinetics and mechanisms of enzymatic regulation and expression, all from a biochemical point of view. Studies and tries to understand the essential elements of the active site and those who are not, and catalytic effects that occur in the modification of these elements; in this sense, techniques frequently used as directed mutagenesis.

Metabolic Biochemistry:

An area of biochemistry who claim to know the different types of metabolic pathways at the cellular level, and organic context. Thus they are essential skills enzymology and cell biology. Study all cellular biochemical reactions that make life possible, and as well as healthy organic biochemical indices, the molecular basis of metabolic diseases or metabolic intermediates flows globally.

From here arise academic disciplines such as bioenergetics (the study of energy flow in living organisms), the Nutritional Biochemistry (study of the processes of nutrition associated with metabolic pathways)  and clinical biochemistry (the study of biochemical alterations in disease states or trauma). The metabolism is the set of science and techniques dedicated to complete study of the system comprising the set of molecules that are metabolic intermediates, primary and secondary metabolites, which can be found in a biological system.

Xenobiotics :

This is the discipline that studies the metabolic behavior of the compounds whose chemical structure is not proper in the regular metabolism of a given organism. They may be secondary metabolites of other organisms (eg: mycotoxins, snake venom and phyto-chemicals when they enter the human body) or non-existent in nature or infrequent compounds. The Pharmacology is a discipline that studies benefiting xenobiotics cell function in the organism due to its therapeutic or preventive effects (drugs).

Pharmacology has clinical applications when the substances are used in the diagnosis, prevention, treatment and relief of symptoms of a disease and the rational development of less invasive and more effective against specific biomolecular target substances. On the other hand, the Toxicology is the study that identifies, studies and describes the dose, the nature, incidence, severity, reversibility, and generally the mechanisms of adverse effects ( toxic effects ) produced by xenobiotics.

Toxicology currently also studying the mechanism of endogenous components such as oxygen free radicals and other reactive intermediates generated by xenobiotics and endobiotics.


This is one of the area of biology, which is interested in the reaction of the organism to other organisms such as bacteria and viruses. All this taking into account the reaction and immune function of living things. It is essential in this area development and behavior studies production of antibodies.


The study of internal secretions called hormones, which are produced by specialized cells substances whose aim is to affect the function of other cells. Endocrinology is biosynthesis, storage and function of hormones, cells and tissues secreting and hormone signalling mechanisms. There are sub-disciplines such as medical endocrinology, the endocrinology plant and animal endocrinology.


The study of organic molecules involved in neuronal activity. This term is frequently used to refer to neurotransmitters and other molecules such as neuro-active drugs influencing neuronal function.


The study of the classification and identification of bodies according to their demonstrable differences and similarities in their chemical composition. The studied compounds can be phospholipids, proteins, peptides, glycosides, alkaloids and terpenes. John Griffith Vaughan was one of the pioneers of chemotaxonomy. Examples of applications can be cited chemotaxonomy differentiation family Asclepiadaceae and Apocynaceae at the discretion of the presence of latex; the presence of agarofuranos in the family Celastraceous; the sesqui terpene lactones with skeleton germacrano that are characteristic of the family Asteraceae or the presence of abietanos in the aerial parts of plants of the genus Salvia Old World as opposed to the New World which have mainly neo –clerodanos.

Chemical ecology:

The study of the chemical compounds of biological origin involved in the interactions of living organisms. It focuses on the production and response signalling molecules (semi chemicals) and compounds that influence growth, survival and reproduction of other organisms (allelo chemicals).


This is one of the area of biology, dedicated to the study of elementary bio systems: viruses. Both classification and recognition, and its operation and molecular structure. It aims to recognize performance targets for potential drugs and vaccines to prevent direct or preventive expansion. We also analyze and predict, in evolutionary terms, variation and combination of viral genomes, which could eventually make them more dangerous. Finally they represent a tool with a lot of projection as recombinant vectors, and have been already used in gene therapy.

Molecular genetics and Genetic engineering:

An area of biochemistry and molecular biology that studies the genes, their heritage and their expression. Molecularity, is dedicated to the study of DNA and RNA mainly, and uses tools and powerful techniques in the study, such as PCR and its variants, mass sequencers, translation, transcription-commercial kits for extracting DNA and RNA, processes in-vitro and in-vivo, restriction enzymes, DNA ligases is an essential to know as the DNA is replicated, transcribed and translated into proteins (Central Dogma of Molecular Biology), and the mechanisms of basal expression and inducible gene genome.

  • Mendelian Law and Mendelism

It also studies the insertion of genes, gene silencing and the differential expression of genes and their effect. Thereby overcoming barriers and boundaries between species in the sense that the genome of a species can insert it in another and generate new species. One of their top goals is to meet current regulatory mechanisms and gene expression, that is, obtain an epigenetic code. It is an essential pillar in all life science disciplines, especially biotechnology.

Molecular biology:

This is the scientific discipline that aims to study the processes taking place in living organisms from a molecular standpoint. Classical biochemical and metabolic cycles investigated in detail and the integration and disintegration of the molecules making up living beings, molecular biology aims set preferably in the behavior of biological macromolecules (DNA, RNA, enzymes, hormones, etc.) within the cell and explains the biological functions of the living being by these properties at the molecular level.

Cell biology:

(Formerly cytology, from citos = cell and logos = study or treaty) This is an area of biology dedicated to the study of the morphology and physiology of prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Try to know their properties, structure, biochemical composition, functions, containing organelles, their interaction with the environment and their life cycle. It is essential in this area know the intrinsic cellular life processes during the cell cycle, such as nutrition, respiration, synthesis of components, defence mechanisms, cell division and cell death.

You must also understand the mechanisms of cell communication (especially in multicellular organisms) or junctions. It is essentially an area of observation and experimentation in cell cultures, which often target the identification and separation of cell populations and recognition of cell organelles. Some techniques used in cellular biology are concerned with the use of cytochemical techniques, plant cell cultures, observation by optical and electron microscopy, immune cytochemistry, immune histo-chemistry, ELISA or flow cytometry. It is closely linked to disciplines such as histology, microbiology and physiology.

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