The University of Southampton
Courses

BIOL3018 Molecular Pharmacology

Module Overview

The module is concerned with a detailed study of the mechanisms of drug action at the molecular level by application of biochemical and molecular biological techniques. Receptor binding, isolation and the application of molecular cloning methods are surveyed. Detailed examples will examine the molecular details of muscarinic, adrenergic, dopaminergic and excitatory amino acid receptors, neurotransmitter transporters and voltage-gated ion channels.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The aim of this module is to: provide third year students with an introduction to the molecular basis of receptor pharmacology.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Describe the general principles and methodology of radio-ligand binding techniques and their application to the study of the molecular pharmacology of receptors. In particular, students should understand the advantages and disadvantages of this approach.
  • Use Scatchard, Cheng-Prussof and Hill equations to analyse drug-receptor interactions.
  • Describe various methods that are used for receptor cloning and expression. Outline the molecular features that are responsible for agonist and antagonist binding, and coupling to effector processes, with reference to muscarinic, and ß-adrenergic receptors.
  • Outline the functional importance of dopamine in the mammalian central nervous system. To describe the biochemical and radio-ligand binding approaches that led to the sub-classification of dopamine receptors. To describe the more recent cloning of dopamine receptor subtypes and the evidence that the subtypes may play discrete roles in the mammalian brain.
  • Review current knowledge of the subunit composition of excitatory amino acid and GABA receptors. To give a structural basis for the physiological and pharmacological properties of the different receptor types found in vertebrate neurons.
  • Describe the properties of different classes of neurotransmitter transport proteins. Outline current knowledge of the molecular and structural aspects of different classes of neurotransmitter transport proteins.
  • Describe the organization of synaptic glutamate receptors and highlight functional relationship between distinct receptor classes.
  • Use metabotropic glutamate receptors to highlight the molecular and structural basis of agonist activation and receptor scaffolding mechanisms.
  • Describe the interactions of two classes of clinically used anti-hypertensive drugs with L-type voltage-gated Ca2+ channels in cardiac muscle and vascular smooth muscle.

Syllabus

The module is concerned with a detailed study of the mechanisms of drug action at the molecular level by application of biochemical and molecular biological techniques. Receptor binding, isolation and the application of molecular cloning methods are surveyed. Detailed examples will examine the molecular details of muscarinic, adrenergic, dopaminergic and excitatory amino acid receptors, neurotransmitter transporters and voltage-gated ion channels.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures. Students are strongly encouraged to attempt previous year’s quantitative questions and to submit these for comments and feedback.

TypeHours
Lecture24
Independent Study126
Total study time150

Assessment

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Written exam  (2.25 hours) 100%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Written exam  (2.25 hours) 100%
Share this module Facebook Google+ Twitter Weibo

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×