The University of Southampton
Courses

BIOL2011 Molecular & Cellular Biochemistry

Module Overview

This module develops the basic concepts of protein structure and function within the overall context of cell function. A major theme in the course is that of cell signalling and the role of membrane proteins in signalling events.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The aim of this module is to develop the basic concepts of protein structure and function within the overall context of cell function. A major theme in the course is that of cell signalling and the role of membrane proteins in signalling events. The aims of the associated practical course are to • Develop the practical skills acquired in the first year and semester one of the second year by introducing further techniques and instrumentation used in biochemistry and cell biology. • Enable the student to record, present and evaluate experimental data. The aims of the associated tutorials are to • Reinforce material covered in lectures, especially advanced laboratory techniques used in research. • Develop essay-writing skills, including exam practice. • Develop presentational skills associated with giving a short oral presentation on a specific topic.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Describe some of the signals in proteins and mRNAs that determine their localisation to different parts of a cell.
  • Explain the mechanisms that target proteins to particular organelles or ensure they are secreted from the cell.
  • Explain the structure and function of different classes of transmembrane proteins, in particular the opsins and the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.
  • Describe, using named examples, how a ligand binding to its receptor activates intracellular signalling cascades, e.g. the adenyl cyclase cascade, the phosphoinositide cascade and the tyrosine kinase cascade.
  • Describe how calcium signalling can be divided into elemental and global events and give examples of the processes which are influenced by these events.
  • Describe the various types of post-translational covalent modifications of intra-cellular proteins and how these modifications regulate protein function and stability, with particular regard to glycosylation, acylation, prenylation and ubiquitination.
  • Define an oncogene and explain, with examples, what makes their protein products oncogenic.
  • Relate lecture content to the practical experience gained by manipulating and assaying protein function in the laboratory.

Syllabus

The lectures in the unit will cover protein targeting and export; membranes, proteins and signal transduction; protein modification and membrane interactions in protein regulation within the eukaryotic cell.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, practicals and tutorials together with independent study.

TypeHours
Practical classes and workshops9
Tutorial2
Lecture22
Independent Study117
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

J.M. Berg, J.L. Tymoczko & L. Stryer (2012). Biochemistry. 

H. Lodish et al (2008). Molecular Cell Biology. 

Karp (2010). Cell Biology. 

B. Alberts et al (2008). Molecular Biology of the Cell. 

Assessment

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (2 hours) 75%
Practical write-ups 15%
Tutorial 10%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 25%
Examination  (2 hours) 75%

Linked modules

Pre-requisites: BIOL1007 or BIOL1010 AND BIOL1008 OR BIOL1022 and BIOL2010.

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