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Frequently Asked Questions


i) Describe the characteristics of HIV structure and genome, state the function of each of its components. Support your answer by neat, well labeled diagrams.

ii) Give a diagrammatic representation of pathogenesis of HIV infection

iii) Describe the phases of HIV infection ; comment on the clinical manifestations and underlying biochemical basis of each of the major symptoms.

iv) Enlist the important tests for the laboratory diagnosis of HIV infection

Water and electrolyte balance and imbalance

i) Describe the role of various  hormones in maintaining water and electrolyte balance of the body.

ii) Give a brief account of the Renin Angiotensin system.

iii) Enlist the causes of –

a) Hyponatremia

b) Hypernatremia

c) Hypokalemia and

d) Hyperkalemia

Acid base balance and imbalance

i) Write short note on each of the followings-

a) Blood buffers

b) Role of hemoglobin

c) Role of kidney in the maintenance of acid base balance of the body

d) Anion Gap

ii) Give an account of the causes, compensation, laboratory diagnosis and treatment of-

a) Metabolic acidosis

b) Metabolic  alkalosis.

ii) Differentiate between respiratory acidosis and metabolic acidosis in a tabular manner

Organ function tests

i) Give an account of the functions of liver and briefly describe the tests based on based on-

a) Bilirubin metabolism,

b) Synthetic functions of liver

ii) Write short note on-

a) Van den Bergh Reaction

b) Hippuric acid excretion test

c) Serum enzymes in liver diseases.

iii) Define clearance and highlight the important points to consider creatinine clearance as better than urea clearance.

iv) Discuss the significance of specific gravity determination in assessing the kidney functions.

v) Enlist important tests for the diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction.

Miscellaneous questions

1) Write the Clinical  significance and the reaction catalyzed by-

a) Amido transferase

b) PRPP synthetase

c) OMP decarboxylase

d) Adenosine deaminase


f) Xanthine oxidase

g) Adenylo Succinate synthetase

2) Enlist two important functions of a –

a) DNA dependent RNA polymerase

b) RNA dependent RNA polymerase

c) DNA dependent DNA polymerase

d) RNA dependent DNA polymerase

3) Justify the following statements-

a) Deficiency of urea cycle enzymes leads to Orotic aciduria

b) Deficiency of Glucose-6-Phosphatase can lead to gouty arthritis

c) Excessive alcohol consumption can precipitate gouty arthritis

d) Telomerase is considered a biological clock

e) PCR is a better choice than cloning

f) Methotrexate is an anticancer drug.


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Molecular biology (Support your answer with suitable, well labeled  and colored diagrams)

A) Structure and Functions of Nucleic acids

i) Give a detailed account of the structure of DNA and differentiate between three major forms of DNA in a tabular manner.

ii) Differentiate between RNA and DNA in a tabular manner.

iii) Give a diagrammatic representation of secondary structure of t- RNA

B) Replication, DNA damage and DNA repair system

iv) Give a brief account of the following in relation to Replication of DNA:

a) Okazaki fragments

b) Replication Fork

c) Proofreading and Editing function of DNA polymerase

d) Inhibitors of DNA replication

e) Mechanism of action and clinical significance of Telomerase

f) Causes and types of DNA damage

g) DNA Repair system

v) Differentiate between :

a) Helicase and Topoisomerase

b) 3′-5′ exonuclease activity and 5′-3′ exonuclease activity

c) DNA polymerase I and III

d) Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic DNA replication

vi) Explain the biochemical basis of the following statements:

a) DNA replication is  semi -conservative in nature

b) DNA Polymerase always requires a primer

c) DNA Replication is semi -discontinuous

d) Template reading is always from 3′-5′ direction while the polymerization takes place from 5′-3′ direction

C) Transcription

vii) Describe  the salient features of  DNA transcription and highlight the important differences between prokaryotic Replication and Transcription.

viii) Write short note on each of the following:

a) RNA polymerase

b) Transcription unit

c) Prokaryotic promoters

d) Termination of Transcription

e) Inhibitors of transcription

ix) What are post- transcriptional modifications ? Discuss the mechanism and  significance (Biological and clinical) of these modifications.

D) Genetic code and Mutations

x) Describe the characteristics and significance  of genetic code

xi) What is wobble hypothesis ? Discuss its significance.

xii) What are mutations ? Classify and describe the consequences of mutations.

xiii) Write short note and give examples in support of your answer:

a) Effect of degeneracy of genetic code on mutations

b) Diseases due to point mutations

c) Diseases due to splice site mutations

d) Gene deletion

e) Code deletion

f) Chromosomal translocation

g) RNA editing

h) Run- on- peptide

E) Translation

xiv- Give an account of the substances required for the process of translation and diagrammatically represent the process of initiation and elongation of translation highlighting the sites of inhibitors of translation.

xv) Give an account of the post- translational modifications.

xvi) Write short note on-

a) Shine Delgarno sequence

b) Termination of translation

c) Inhibitors of translation

F) Gene Expression

xvii) Give an account of status of lac Operon under the following conditions-

a)  No lactose in the medium

b) Both glucose and lactose are there in the medium

c) Only lactose is there in the medium.

xviii) Enlist the major  differences between  regulation of prokaryotic and eukaryotic gene expression, and briefly describe the important mechanisms by which the gene expression can be regulated in eukaryotes. Support your answer with suitable examples and diagrams.

xix) Write short note on each of the following:

a) Induction and repression

b) Constitutive genes

c) Double negative control

d) Type-A response

e) Operator and Operon

G) Recombinant DNA technology

xx)  Write short note on each of the following:

a) Restriction endonucleases

b) Vectors of cloning

c) DNA probes

d) DNA Libraries

e) PCR (Polymerase chain reaction )

f)  Restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP)

g) DNA fingerprinting

h) Southern hybridization

i) Western blotting

j) Applications of Recombinant DNA technology in the field of Medicine



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1) Diet and nutrition

i) What is BMR ? Give an account of the factors that affect BMR.

ii) What is Respiratory Quotient (RQ)? What is its clinical significance?

iii) Differentiate between Marasmus and Kwashiorkor in a tabular manner highlighting the causes, clinical manifestations, metabolic or clinical complications, laboratory diagnosis and treatment.

iv) Elaborate on causes and complications of Obesity.

v) Write short note on each of the followings 

a) Mutual supplementation of nutrients

b) Sparing action,

c) Glycemic index

d) SDA (Specific dynamic action)

e) Dietary Fiber

2) Detoxification

i) Give an account of phase 2 reactions of detoxification of xenobiotics

ii) How are the following compounds detoxified in the body?

a) Bilirubin

b) Alcohol – Methyl and Ethyl alcohol

c) Aspirin

d) Digitalis

e) Phenyl acetic acid

iii) Write in brief about the properties of cytochrome P450 enzyme system.

3) Cancers

i) Write short note on each of the followings-

a) Chemical carcinogenesis

b) Biochemistry of cancer cells

c) Tumor markers

d) Anticancer drugs

e) Tumor suppressor genes

ii) Give a brief account of the mechanisms by which the proto oncogenes are converted to Oncogenes

4) Chemistry of nucleotides

i) Briefly describe the structure, functions and clinical significance of C- AMP

ii) Describe the structure, mechanism of formation and functions of ATP.      

iii) Enlist the biologically important nucleotides

5) Metabolism of nucleotides

i) Give a brief account of the salvage pathway of purine nucleotide biosynthesis, What is its biological and clinical significance ?

ii) Describe in detail about the steps and regulation of  de novo synthesis of pyrimidine nucleotides

iii) Describe in brief about the biochemical defect, clinical manifestations, laboratory diagnosis and treatment of

a)  Lesch Nyhan syndrome

 b) Gout  

c) Orotic aciduria

iii) Describe the role of folic acid in nucleotide biosynthesis.

6) Biochemical techniques

i) Describe the principle, procedure and significance of-

a) ELISA (Enzyme linked immuno sorbent assay)

b) TLC (Thin layer chromatography)

c)  Paper electrophoresis

d) PAGE (Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis)

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7) – Vitamins

i) Give an account of the  functions /coenzyme role and describe the clinical consequences of deficiency of each of the following vitamins

a) Thiamine

b) Niacin

c) B12

d) Vitamin C

e) Vitamin D

ii) Write short note on each of the followings-

a) Role of Folic acid in one carbon metabolism

b) Role of B6-P in amino acid metabolism

c) Role of vitamin K in coagulation

d) Visual cycle

e) Folate trap

8) – Minerals

i) Give an account of functions of calcium and elaborate on role of various hormones in maintaining serum calcium concentration.

ii) Briefly describe the functions of iron and elaborate on iron overload.

iii) Write short note on each of the followings

a) Mucosal block theory of iron absorption

b) Iron deficiency anemia

c) Wilson’s disease

9)-Carbohydrate metabolism

i) Write short note on –

a) Lactose intolerance

b) Glucose transporters

c) Significance of 2,3 BPG (2,3 Bisphosphoglycerate)

d) Amphibolic role of TCA cycle

e) Cori’s cycle

f) Significance of HMP pathway (Biological and clinical)

f) Barriers of gluconeogenesis

g) Causes of hypo and hyperglycemia

h) Glucose Tolerance test

i) Formation and fate of pyruvate

ii) Discuss the steps and regulation of-

a) Glycolysis

b) Glycogen synthesis and degradation

iii) Discuss the biochemical defect, clinical manifestations, laboratory diagnosis and treatment of the following diseases-

a) Von-Gierke’s disease

b) Essential pentosuria

c) Classical galactosemia

d) Hereditary fructose intolerance

10) – Diabetes Mellitus

i) Differentiate between type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus

ii) Give a brief account of the followings-

a) Metabolic alterations in diabetes mellitus

b) Laboratory diagnosis

c) Complications of uncontrolled hyperglycemia in diabetes mellitus

iii) Give the biochemical basis of the followings in relation to diabetes mellitus-

a) Premature cataract

b) Weight loss

c) Fruity odor of breath in uncontrolled type 1 DM

d) Hyperlipidemia and risk of IHD

e) Increased susceptibility to infections

f) Impaired wound healing

11) – Lipid metabolism

i) Discuss the role of carnitine in fatty acid oxidation,

ii) Describe the steps of beta oxidation and give the details of energy yield upon complete  oxidation of one molecule of Palmitic acid.

iii) Give a diagrammatic representation of fatty acid synthase complex and elaborate on regulation of fatty acid synthesis.

iii) Describe in brief the steps and regulation of cholesterol biosynthesis

iv) Describe the general structure, classification and functions of lipoproteins.

v) Write short note on each of the followings-

a) Fatty liver and lipotropic agents

b) Hyperlipidemia and lipid lowering drugs

c) Ketosis

vi) Describe the following diseases giving biochemical defect, clinical manifestations, laboratory diagnosis and treatment-

a) Zellweger syndrome

b) Jamaican sickness

c) Refsum disease

12) – Amino acid metabolism

i) Differentiate between-

a)Transamination and deamination

b) CPS-1 and CPS-2

c) Glutamate dehydrogenase, Glutaminase and Glutamine synthetase

ii) Give an account of the followings-

a) Ammonia intoxication

b) Nitrogen balance

c) Transmethylation reactions

d) Polyamines

e) Steps of urea cycle

iii) Describe the metabolic role of-

a) Glycine

b) Tyrosine

c) Tryptophan

Iv) Describe the following diseases –

a) Alkaptonuria

b) Albinism  

c) PKU (Phenylketonuria)

d) Hartnup  disease

e) Maple syrup urine disease

f) Cystinuria,

g) Homocysteinemia

13) Heme synthesis and degradation 

i) Give a brief outline of the steps of heme synthesis and highlight the enzyme deficiencies to cause porphyria.

ii) Write short note on

a) Sickle cell disease

b) Beta Thalassemia

c) Methemoglobinemia

iii) Give an outline of differential diagnosis of jaundice in a tabular form.


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1) Chemistry of Carbohydrates

i)  What is Mutarotation ? Describe its biochemical basis in reference to glucose.

ii) Give a brief account of sugar alcohols mentioning the biological /clinical significance of each of them.

iii) What are Glycosides ? Give examples of clinically important glycosides.

iv) Differentiate between –

a) Amylose and Amylopectin

b) Lactose and sucrose

c) Anomers and epimers

v)  Describing the chemistry of cellulose, state the reason for Cellulose being not considered a nutrient  despite having  all glucose residues.

vi) State the reason –

a) Glucose is a better fuel molecule as compared to fatty acids and ketone bodies 

b) Glycogen is a storage form of glucose since glucose cannot be stored as such.

c) Heparin is used clinically as an anticoagulant and is also called clearing factor

2) Chemistry of lipids

i)  What are essential fatty acids ? Describe the functions and clinical consequences of deficiency of essential fatty acids.

ii) Describe the structure and functions of cholesterol. State the  clinical conditions of variations of serum cholesterol levels.

iii) Describe the chemistry and functions of  Phospholipids

iv) Differentiate between-

a) Cerebrosides and Gangliosides

b) Prostacyclin and Thromboxane

c) Omega -3 and Omega -6 fatty acids

v) Write short note on each of the followings-

a) Liposomes

b) Rancidity

c) Functions of Eicosanoids

vi) Describe the biochemical defect, clinical manifestations and  laboratory diagnosis of-

a) Tay Sach’s

b) Niemann Pick’s disease and

c) Gaucher’s disease

3) Chemistry of amino acids and proteins

i) Give an account of-

a) Derived amino acids

b) Biologically important peptides

c) Conjugated proteins

d) Denaturation

ii) Give an account of the structure of protein, describe the structure function relationship in reference to protein unfolding and misfolding.

4) Plasma proteins and specialized proteins

i) Describe the functions of plasma proteins

ii) State the conditions of variations of serum total protein levels.

 iii) Describe the structure and functions of immunoglobulins

iv) What are Bence jone’s proteins ? What is their clinical significance ?

5) Enzymology

i) Differentiate between-

a) Cofactors, coenzymes and prosthetic group

b) Zero order and first order reaction

c) Zymogens and zymases

d) Competitive and non competitive inhibition

ii) Give an account of-

a) Factors affecting enzyme activity

b) Regulation of enzyme activity

c) Isoenzymes and their clinical significance

6) Biological oxidation

i) Give a diagrammatic representation of organization of electron transport chain highlighting the sites of site specific inhibitors and ATP formation.

ii) Write short note on each of the followings-

a) Redox potential

b) ATP synthase complex

c) Uncouplers of oxidative phosphorylation

d) Chemiosmotic theory of oxidative phosphorylation

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