The University of Southampton
Courses

BIOL6032 Molecular Recognition

Module Overview

Most biological processes involve interactions between macromolecules. It is the aim of this course to illustrate the nature of these interactions with selected examples. The first section introduces the structure of DNA and the recognition of nucleic acids by interacting proteins such as histones, nucleases, and transcription factors. Also discussed are the structure of RNA and ribo-switches. From the nucleus of the cell, we turn our attention to the surface of the cel, and discuss ways in which signal transduction events lead to altered gene expression. Examples such as cytokines and growth hormones and their receptors and the GTPase switch are discussed, affecting cell cycle regulation. Protein-peptide recognition will be introduced, and will see how viruses upset cell regulation through interfering peptides. The receptors themselves are often multi-domain proteins, as we will see in the next section. Assembly of multiple domains is a requirement for regulation and efficient binding site presentation. These construction principles are also discussed in the final chapter that covers immunobiology, as antigen peptide presentation and recognition by MHC and TCRs are introduced.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The aim of this module is to illustrate the nature of interactions between macromolecules important in biological systems.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • describe the structure of DNA and the nature of interactions with proteins;
  • describe the roles of CD4 and CD8;
  • describe the molecular basis of T cell receptor diversity.
  • describe the structure of RNA and the nature of riboswitches;
  • describe the action of growth hormones and cytokines;
  • describe the mechanism and function of protein phosphorylation;
  • describe how the GTPase switch regulates signalling;
  • describe how protein motifs are recognised by interacting proteins;
  • describe interactions in modular proteins;
  • describe ligand recognition in the immune system;
  • describe the MHC complex and functions of class I, and class II proteins;

Syllabus

Most biological processes involve interactions between macromolecules. It is the aim of this course to illustrate the nature of these interactions with selected examples. The first section introduces the structure of DNA and the recognition of nucleic acids by interacting proteins such as histones, nucleases, and transcription factors. Also discussed are the structure of RNA and ribo-switches. From the nucleus of the cell, we turn our attention to the surface of the cell, and discuss ways in which signal transduction events lead to altered gene expression. Examples such as cytokines and growth hormones and their receptors are discussed, affecting cell cycle regulation. Protein-peptide recognition will be introduced, and will see how viruses upset cell regulation through interfering peptides. The receptors themselves are often multi-domain proteins, as we will see in the next section. Assembly of multiple domains is a requirement for regulation and efficient binding site presentation. These construction principles are also discussed in the final chapter that covers immunobiology, as antigen peptide presentation and recognition by MHC and TCRs are introduced.

Special Features

N/A.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures and independent study with some informal tutorials.

TypeHours
Independent Study126
Lecture24
Total study time150

Assessment

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  ( words) 15%
Oral presentation 20%
Written exam  (2 hours) 65%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 35%
Written exam  (2 hours) 65%

Linked modules

Pre-requisites: BIOL2010 AND BIOL2011 or BIOL2012.

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