Biochemistry Mnemonics
Biochemistry Mnemonics

Essential Amino Acids

  • PriVaTe TIM HALL
  • Phe, Val, Thr, Trp, Ile, Met, His, Arg, Leu, Lys

Urea Cycle

  • Ordinarily, Careless Crappers, Are Also Frivolous About Urination.
  • Ornithine, Carbamoyl, Citrulline, Arginosuccinate, Aspartate, Fumarate, Arginine, Urea.

Cell division

  • Prophase, metaphase, anaphase, telophase.
  • "People Meet And Talk."

In the Phasted State

  • Phosphorylate Phosphorylation cascade active when blood glucose low.
  • DNA expression into mature mRNA
  • Exons expressed, Introns in the trash.
  • Pyrimidines are CUT from purines.
  • Pyrimidines are Cytosine, Uracil, Thiamine and are one ring structures.
  • Purines are double ring structures.

Porphyrias: acute intermittent porphyria symptoms 5 P's:

Pain in abdomen


Psychologial abnormalities

Pink urine

Precipitated by drugs (eg barbiturates, oral contraceptives, sulpha drugs)

BUN:creatinine elevation: causes ABCD:

Azotremia (pre-renal)

Bleeding (GI)

Catabolic status

Diet (high protein parenteral nutrition)

G6PD: oxidant drugs inducing hemolytic anemia AAA: Antibiotic (eg: sufamethoxazole)

Antimalarial (eg: primaquine)

Antipyretics (eg: acetanilid, but not aspirin or acetaminophen)

Vitamin B3 (niacin, nicotinic acid) deficiency: pellagra

The 3 D's of pellagra: Dermatitis Diarrhea Dementia

Note vitamin B3 is the 3 D's.

Tangier's disease: hallmark

"Tangierene tonsils":

Hallmark is large orange tonsils.

Important clinical note: there is no increased risk of atherosclerosis, just like eating tangerenes.

Na+/K+ pump: movement of ions and quantity

K+ and in each consist of 2 characters, so so 2 K+ are pumped in. Na+ and out each consist of 3 characters, so 3 Na+ are pumped out

Glycogen storage: Anderson's (IV) vs. Cori's (III) enzyme defect

Glycogen storage: Anderson's (IV) vs. Cori's (III) enzyme defect


Anderson's=Branching enzyme.

Cori's=Debranching enzyme.

Otherwise, can't really distinguish clinically.

Nitric oxide: amino acid precursor

When the dentist works on your teeth, you say, "AAArg! (Arginine)" before he administers Nitric Oxide (NO) to take the pain away.

Other players necessary for NO synthesis: NO synthase, Ca++, NADPH.

Pompe's disease: type "Police = Po + lys":

Pompe's disease is a lysosomal storage disease (alpha 1,4 glucosidase).

Metabolic acidosis (normal anion-gap): causes

With hyperkalemia: RAISE K+:

RTA type 4

Aldosterone or mineralocorticord deficiency

Iatrogenic: NH4Cl, HCl

"Stenosis": obstructive uropathy

Early uremia

With hypokalemia: ReDUCE K+:

Renal TA type 1 and 2


Urine diversion into gut

Carbonate anhydrase inhibitor


Galactosaemia: enzyme deficiency

GALIPUT: Galactose 1 Phosphate Uridyl Transferase.

There is an assay called the Galiput test for this.

Citric acid cycle compounds

"Our City Is Kept Safe And Sound From Malice":

Oxaloacetate Citrate Isocitrate alpha-Ketoglutarate Succinyl-CoA Succinate Fumarate Malate

Folate deficiency: causes A FOLIC DROP:


Folic acid antagonists

Oral contraceptives

Low dietary intake

Infection with Giardia

Celiac sprue


Relative folate deficiency



Mitochondrial DNA (mt DNA) properties

"mt DNA".

mt stands for: Maternal Transfer Mutates Tremendously (high mutation rate)

Vitamins: which are fat soluble

"The FAT cat is in the ADEK (attic)":

Fat soluble vitamins are A,D,E,K.

Enzyme kinetics: competitive vs. non-competitive inhibition

With Kompetitive inhibition: Km increases; no change in Vmax. With Non-kompetitive inhibition: No change in Km; Vmax decreases.

Glycogen storage: names of types I through VI

"Viagra Pills Cause A Major Hardon":

Von Gierke's






Sickle cell disease pathophysiology

SICKle cell disease is due to a Substitution of the SICKsth amino acid of the B chain.

Glucagon function

"Mr. Gluca has Gone to the cAMP to bring out some Glucose":

Glucagon elevates glucose by cAMP mechanism.

Van den Bergh reaction (Jaundice test)

"Indirect reacting bilirubin = Unconjugated bilirubin":

Both start with vowels, so they go together:

Indirect & Unconjugated.

Hemoglobin binding curve: causes of shift to right

"CADET, face right!":



2,3-DPG (aka 2,3 BPG)



G proteins for respective receptors

"QISS & QIQ" (Kiss and Kick):

G-proteins and their respective receptors (alphabetical order):

Q: alpha 1 I: alpha 2 S: beta 1 S: beta 2 &

Q: M1 I: M2 Q: M3

Adrenaline mechanism

"ABC of Adrenaline":

Adrenaline--> activates

Beta receptors--> increases

Cyclic AMP

Citric acid cycle compounds

"Can I Keep Selling Sex For Money, Officer?":

Citrate Isocitrate alpha Ketogluterate Succinyl CoA Succinate Fumerate Malate Oxaloacetate

Carbon monoxide: electron transport chain target

"CO blocks CO":

Carbon monoxide (CO) blocks Cytochrome Oxidase (CO)

Metabolism sites

"Use both arms to HUG":

Heme synthesis Urea cycle Gluconeogenesis These reactions occur in both cytoplasm and mitochondria.

Na/K pump: concentrations of Na vs. K on inside/outside of cell, pump action, number of molecules moved

HIKIN': There is a HIgh K concentration INside the cell. From this can deduce that the Na/K pump pumps K into cell and Na out of cell. Alternatively: When I was learning this pump (circa 1992), a band that was "in" was Kris Kross, and a band that was "out" was "Sha Na Na Na": So pump moves K K (2 K) in and Na Na Na (3 Na) out. Sadly, as infectious as their debut album was, Kris Kross can really no longer be classed as "in".

DNA bond strength (nucleotides)

"Crazy Glue":

Strongest bonds are between Cytosine and Guanine, strong like Crazy Glue (3 H-bonds), whereas the A=T only have 2 H-bonds. This is relevant to DNA replication, as the weaker A=T will be the site where RNA primer makes the initial break.

Dicarboxylic acids (alpha, omega) C2 through C10: common names

"Oh My, Such Good Apple Pie, Sweet As Sugar!":

Oxalic Malonic Succinic Glutaric Adipic Pimelic Suberic Azelaic Sebacic

Infantile Beriberi symptoms

Restlessness Sleeplessness Breathlessness Soundlessness (aphonia) Eatlessness (anorexia) Great heartedness (dilated heart)

Alternatively: Get 5 of 'em with BERI: Breathless/ Big hearted, Eatless, Restless, Insomnia.

AcetylCoA and acetacetylCoA: amino acids forming them

"A Lighter Lease" (A LyTr LeIs):

A=AcetylCoA or Acetoacetyl CoA





Fasting state: branched-chain amino acids used by skeletal muscles

"Muscles LIVe fast":




Glycolysis steps

"Goodness Gracious, Father Franklin Did Go By Picking Pumpkins (to) Prepare Pies":









2-Phosphoglycerate (to)

Phosphoenolpyruvate [PEP] Pyruvate 'Did', 'By' and 'Pies' tell you the first part of those three: di-, bi-, and py-.

'PrEPare' tells location of PEP in the process.

Fabry's disease


Foam cells found in glomeruli and tubules/ Febrile episodes

Alpha galactosidase A deficiency/ Angiokeratomas

Burning pain in extremities/ BUN increased in serum/ Boys

Renal failure

YX genotype (male, X linked recessive)


B vitamin names

"The Rhythm Nearly Proved Contagious":

In increasing order: Thiamine (B1) Riboflavin (B2) Niacin (B3) Pyridoxine (B6) Cobalamin (B12)

Electron transport chain: Rotenone's site of action

Rotenone is a site specific inhibitor of complex one.

Citric acid cycle compounds

"Oh! Can I Keep Some Succinate For Myself?":

Oxaloacetate Citrate Isocitrate Ketoglutarate Succinyl coA Succinate Fumarate Malate

Citric acid cycle compounds

"Oh Citric Acid Is Of (course) A SiLly STupid Funny Molecule":

Oxaloacetate Citrate Aconitate Isocitrate Oxalosuccinate Alpha-ketoglutarate SuccinyL-CoA SuccinaTe Fumarate Malate

SilLy and sTupid used to differentiate succinyL and succinaTe

Type 1 glycogen storage disease

Type 1 = one (Von), ie Von Giereke's disease

Essential amino acids

PVT. TIM HALL: Phe Val Thr Trp Ile Met His Arg Leu Lys

Pvt. is short for Private in the military.

Arg and His are considered semiessential.

Alternatively: "MATT VIL PHLy".

Citric acid cycle compounds

"Can I Ask Sharon Stone For My Orgasm?":

Citrate Isocitrate Alpha-Ketoglutarate Succinyl CoA Succinate Fumerate Maleate Oxaloacetate

Golgi complex: functions

"Golgi Distributes A SPAM":

Distributes proteins and lipids from ER

Add mannose onto specific lysosome proteins

Sulfation of sugars and slected tyrosine

Proteoglycan assembly

Add O-oligosugars to serine and threnonine

Modify N-ologosugars on asparagine

Pyruvate: products of complete oxidation

"4 Naked Fun 3 Coeds + 1 Guy":

Complete oxidation of pyruvate yields:


Catabolism steps of branched chain amino acids

"Truck hit the Ox to Death":


Oxidative decarboxylation


Niacin deficiency: signs and symptoms

The famous 4 D's:

Diarrhoea Dermatitis Dementia Death (if untreated)

Creatine phosphate: amino acid precursors

"Nice GAMs!": Glycine Arginine Methionine

Gam is slang for a person's leg, especiallay an attractive female's leg: "Nice gams = nice legs!"

Creatine phosphate is a muscle energy store, and spontaneously converts to creatinine which is excreted in the urine in direct proportion to muscle mass: clinically useful, such as in MS Dx.

Enzymes: classification

"Over The HILL":







Enzymes get reaction over the hill.

Insulin: function

INsulIN stimulates 2 things to go  IN 2 cells: Potassium and Glucose.

Collagen concisely covered


C-terminal propeptide (procollagen)/ Covalent Cross links/ C vitamin/ Connective tissue/ Cartilage/ Chondroblasts/ Copper Cofactor (Covalent Cross linking)

Outside the cell is where collagen normally functions/ Osteoblasts/ Osteogenesis imperfecta

Lysyl hydroxylase/ Lysyl oxidase (oxidatively deaminates lysyl and hydroxylysyl residues to form collagen cross links, last biosynthesis step)

Long triple helical fibers/ Ligaments

Alpha chains/ Attached by H bonds form triple helix/ Ascorbate for hydroxylation of lysyl and prolyl residues of pro-Alpha chains (postranslational modification)

Gly in every third position/ Glycosylation of hydroxyl group of hydroxylysine with Glucose and Galactose; GOlgi allows procollagen to GO outside of cell

Extracellular matrix/ Eye (cornea, sclera)/ Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

N-terminal propeptide (procollagen)/ Nonhelical terminal extensions

Note: Procollagen LEAVEs the cell to be cLEAVEd by procollagen peptidases

Essential amino acids

"PVT. TIM HALL always argues, never tires":

Phe Val Thr Trp Ile Met His Arg Lue Lys

Always argues: the A is for Arg, not Asp.

'Never tires': T is not Tyr, but is both Thr and Trp.

Hypervitaminosis A: signs and symptoms

"Increased Vitamin A makes you HARD":

Headache/ Hepatomegaly

Anorexia/ Alopecia

Really painful bones

Dry skin/ Drowsiness

Heme synthesis: amino acid precursors to basic unit of porphyrins, heme (pyrrole ring)

"Dracula wants to Suck a Co-ed's blood [think heme] with his Glystening teeth!":

Succinyl CoA and Glycine are precursor amino acids to pyrrole rings, which is the basic unit of porphyrins and heme.

Enzymes: competitive inhibitors

"Competition is hard because we have to travel more kilometers (Km) with the same velocity":

With competitive inhibitors, velocity remains same but Km increases

Phosphorylation cascade: action during low glucose

"In the Phasted State, Phosphorylate":

The phosphorylation cascade becomes active when blood glucose is low.

Sickle cell anemia: mutation

"HbS isn't Very Good":

At Sixth position of HB beta chain, Valine is present instead of Glutamic acid.

tRNA: molecular shape

Fortunately, tRNA (Transfer RNA) is shaped like a capital T.

See diagram.  

Malate-aspartate shuttle

"MAD commute":

Malate in. Alpha-ketoglutarate and D (Aspartate) out.

Vitamins: which are fat soluble

KADE: Vitamin K Vitamin A Vitamin D Vitamin E

Phenylketonuria: which enzyme is deficient

PHenylketonuria is caused by a deficiency of:  Phenylalanine Hydroxylase

In the Phasted State Phosphorylate

Phosphorylation cascade active when blood glucose low.

Exons expressed, Introns in the trash--DNA expression into mature mRNA

Pyrimidines are CUT from purines.

Pyrimidines are Cytosine, Uracil, Thiamine and are one ring structures.

Purines are double ring structures.

Amino Acids:The ten essential amino acids:

                "These Ten Valuable Amino Acids Have Long Preserved Life In

                (Threonine, Tryptophan, Valine, Arginine, Histidine, Lysine,
                Phenylalanine, Leucine, Isoleucine, Methionine)

INsulin gets sugar INto cells- (Excess sugar is removed via urine.The  Romans noticed bees attracted to the urine of diabetics and coined the term "diabetes" to describe the overflow of sugar.)

GOAT FLAP- Eight hormones: Growth hormone, Oxytocin, Adenocorticotropin, Thyroid stimulating hormone, Follicle stimulating hormone, Leutinizing hormone (interstitial cell stimulating hormone in males), Anti-diruetic(Vasopressin), and Prolactin

(shhhh.... also Melatonin!)