BSc Biology / Course details
Year of entry: 2020
Course unit details:
Cell Metabolism & Metabolic Control
|Unit level||Level 2|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 2|
|Offered by||School of Biological Sciences|
|Available as a free choice unit?||No|
Metabolism is the set of chemical reactions that occur in living organisms to maintain life. You will focus on the metabolic pathways in the cells of mammals, with some reference to microbes and plants. You will learn about diseases caused by defects in metabolism, such as diabetes, which will emphasise the importance of metabolic control.
|Unit title||Unit code||Requirement type||Description|
To provide knowledge of the essential features of cellular metabolism, and an understanding of the mechanisms through which metabolism is controlled. This will be achieved using specific examples and model situations to illustrate principal control mechanisms. Diseases caused by defects in metabolism will be studied to emphasise the importance of metabolic control. The course will focus on mammalian systems, with some reference to plants and microbes.
- Have knowledge of cellular metabolism, including central catabolic and anabolic pathways.
- Understand the principals and importance of metabolic control.
- Be able to describe the main mechanisms through which metabolic processes are controlled, and appreciate that control occurs at multiple levels.
- Understand how different control mechanisms may be integrated to coordinate cell metabolism and function.
- Understand how metabolism is coordinated in mammals, and have knowledge of how disturbances in metabolism contribute to disease.
1. Principles of metabolic control and control mechanisms
Overview of metabolism: functions and end-products, anabolism and catabolism, energy metabolism; concepts of metabolic control.
Control mechanisms: levels of control, isoenzymes, branched and linear pathways, allostery, control by covalent modification, control of enzyme level.
2. Regulation of core metabolism
Carbohydrate metabolism: long-term regulation of glucose utilisation, enzyme-level control of glycolysis and gluconeogenesis, links to fatty acid metabolism, glycogen turnover, sugar interconversions and the citric acid cycle.
Lipid metabolism: regulation of fat mobilisation, lipoprotein metabolism, fatty acid oxidation, lipid synthesis, links to glucose metabolism, ketones.
Amino acid metabolism: control of protein turnover, nitrogen handling, links to nucleic acid metabolism, amino acid oxidation, integration with citric acid cycle.
Metabolism in plants: starch/sugar metabolism and fermentation for biofuels, storage lipid biosynthesis: regulation and applications.
3. Integration and adaptation of metabolism
Metabolic states and signals, tissue cooperation, adaptation of metabolism to physiological/pathological situations (feeding-starvation, diabetes, obesity).
- Online quiz (exam-style short answer questions).
- eLearning modules (contributing 10 % of the final mark). Scenario-based problems will be used to develop skills in applying knowledge gained from lectures to unfamiliar situations.
- Discussion forums will be open for each topic. to encourage dialogue between students and teaching staff.
- End of course quiz and revision session.
- Analytical skills
- ePBL involves analysis of experimental data. Lecture material incoroporates students to primary sources and data.
- Problem solving
- ePBL as above.
- Written communication
- Short note and essay questions in exams
1.5 hour written examination, composed of short-answer questions and one essay (90%); elearning modules (10%).
- Online quiz will provide formative feedback (model answers provided upon completion).
- eLearning module will provide feedback for incorrect answers.
- Students will be encouraged to ask questions and will receive direct feedback from staff, both in lectures and via Blackboard discussion forums.
Review articles and commentaries as recommended by the lecturers.
- Frayn, KF, Metabolic Regulation: A Human Perspective (3rd edition), Portland Press, 2010, Recommended
- Nelson, DL & Cox, MM, Lehninger: Principles of Biochemistry (5th edition), W H Freeman, 2008, Recommended
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Assessment written exam||1.3|
|Independent study hours|
|Eileithyia Swanton||Unit coordinator|