Biochemistry and USMLE step I exam (II): My High Yield Topics List about Structure and Function of Proteins


 

Some introductory warnings:

 

If you intend to use this post  as a guide for studying Biochemistry for the USMLE Step I, DON’T DO IT! You better go to study your notes and/or some of your review books…

 

If you already studied Biochemistry for USMLE, and you just want to read some ideas about which topics would be interesting to reinforce, the following topics would be a good guide.

 

These topics  have relevant medical  importance and have been described and referred in different sources as high yield in this kind of exams.

 

(Disclaimer:  This post reflect the subjective opinion of the blogger;  the blogger is not responsible of a poor performance of the student in the biochemistry questions in USMLE and do not claim that the student will obtain a good result following the advices in this post and blah, blah, blah, etc).

 

But of course, do not limit your study to high yield topics. What if you have a “low yield disease” and you are attended by a physician who just studied “high yield topics”?

 

Certainly, this is a very important exam, but like the name says,..“Step I”, just one step. (I am sure that you realize that when you decided to study Medicine, you also decided to climb a stair with countless steps… “Ars longa, Vita brevis”)

 

Once passed these philosophical statements, let’s talk about practical issues related to this exam.

 

I consider (I believe, I think, I suppose, I assume…) that the most relevant High Yield topics in Structure and function of Proteins for USMLE, not including enzymes, are the following:

 

 

-Main physiological types of Hb describing their chain composition

 

– Oxygen affinity and Hb F

  

-Comparison between the curves of oxygen binding in myoglobin and Hemoglobin and to explain them.

 

– Allosteric effectors of Hb (special attention to allosterism in the curve of binding of Oxygen to Hb)

 

 -Bohr Effect in Hb oxygen binding

 

-Action of 2,3 BPG on T/R Hb equilibrium.

 

-Role of Hb in Nitric Oxide transport.

 

-Classification of hemoglobinopathies.

 

-Diseases caused by defects in Hb synthesis.

 

-Causes and biochemical characteristics of the Thalassemias.

 

-Causes and consequences of Sickle cell anemia

 

-Comparison between Sickle cell anemia, Hemoglobin C disease and Hemoglobin SC disease.

 

-Clinical importance of glycosylated Hb

 

-Metahemoglobin main characteristics

 

-Mechanism of production of CO intoxication.

 

– Collagen biosynthesis and processing (special attention to the relationship between scurvy and collagen biosynthesis)

 

-Diseases that are consequence of disorders of collagen synthesis In particular causes and characteristics of Ehler-Danlos Syndrome and Osteogenesis Imperfecta)

 

– Relationship between elastin in alveolar walls and emphysema

 

-Biochemical basis of Cystic Fibrosis and clinical consequences.

 

-Causes of protein misfolding (pay attention to Amyloidoses and protein misfolding)

 

 

Final Note (I am sorry, I feel I need to repeat it):

 

If you intend to use this post as a guide for studying Biochemistry for the USMLE Step I,  DON’T DO IT! You better go to study your notes and/or some of your review books…

 

If you already studied Biochemistry for USMLE, and you just want to read some ideas about which topics would be interesting to revisit, this post could help you…

 

 

5 thoughts on “Biochemistry and USMLE step I exam (II): My High Yield Topics List about Structure and Function of Proteins

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