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The University of Southampton
Structural Biology Part of Biological Sciences

Biol3013 Molecular Recognition

Most biological processes involve interactions between macromolecules. It is the aim of this course to illustrate the nature of these interactions with selected examples.

Molecular Recognition 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. Assembly of multiple domains is a requirement for regulation and efficient binding site presentation. These construction principles are discussed in the final chapter that covers immunobiology, as antigen peptide presentation and recognition by MHC and TCRs are introduced.

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