USMLE Mnemonics: Biochem

Finished biochem review!  If there’s one subject it’d be good to have mnemonics in, this one would be it.  I’m ignoring the standards (“Cut the PYE” “PURe As Gold”, etc) to bring you the ones buried deep in the depths of the internet (which I only discovered through a pretty epic amount of procrastination disguised as mindless scrolling.)

Kompetitive enzymes inKrease the Km.  Therefore it’s the non-competitive ones that increase Vmax while keeping Km the same.

“Guardian Angels are Pure, with 2 Wings” – Purines (G and A) have 2 rings.  (Alternatively, I’ve also heard “Pyrimidines are CUT from purines” to remind you that pyrimidines are smaller.)

Glycogen Storage Diseases:  ABCD – Anderson’s = Branching enzyme defect, Cori’s = Debranching enzyme defect.

Pompe’s Disease:  The POLYSE Arrest 1 of the 4 Girls.  (Police = POmpe’s + LYSosomal Alpha-1,4 Glucosidase)

Arginine as the precursor to nitrous oxide:  Before the dentist administers nitrous oxide to numb your teeth, you shout “ARG!”

Electron Transport Chain:  RotenONE is a specific inhibitor of Complex ONE

“In the Phasted State, Phosphorylate!” helps you remember which hormone tends to phosphorylate (glucagon).  Nice, since a little bit of deductive thinking then gives you a major clue to the 2nd-messenger cascade of every enzyme that could possibly be tested.

And how about you- any other good mnemonics or memorization tricks?

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5 thoughts on “USMLE Mnemonics: Biochem

  1. Thanks for putting this in your Medical Mnemonics category. Your blog is one of my favorite reference sites lol! I’m not to biochem yet, will be this summer, and I have no doubt this will come in handy!

  2. For me, mnemonics only for weird stuff, or silly mnemonics that someone told me and stuck there. But I tend to forget them really fast.
    By the way, I studied biochem 4-5 years ago, it was kind of boring, but not too hard. Good luck with it!!

  3. Sigh… I am a UK med student at a REALLY not very sciences-oriented school, and I have finished MS4, my med school FINALS (my uni does them in fourth year while everyone else has theirs in fifth year over here in the UK) – which I thankfully passed – and I am doing one year grad school in Global Health and I STILL DO NOT KNOW MY BASIC SCIENCES. Thank you for this mnemonic, I wish there was a way to send you a picture of my notes, because I remembered your blog post as I was starting at the very beginning with the basics of DNA and its components. (I don’t know yet if I will write the USMLE or not, it takes seven (SEVEN!!) years to become a full-fledged ObGyn here in the UK… and the thought of doing *just four* and being able to say, ‘Screw you, medical training. I am DONE! DONE, I say!’ is so. damn. appealing…. so I am trying to study for it now myself, or at least, use the USMLE as a benchmark guideline to help me re-learn (or just learn *afresh*) my basic medical sciences.) So, I also COMPLETELY get your ‘I should have learned the stuff harder in MS1’ post you’ve posted more recently. But also, I wish I had worked harder and gotten into a medical school where they would discipline us to learn our basic sciences well. Good luck with STEP 1!! When are you planning to write the exam?

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