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BSc Molecular Biology / Course details
Year of entry: 2023
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Course unit details:
Protein Sorting (L)
|Unit level||Level 3|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 1|
|Available as a free choice unit?||No|
Eukaryotic cells are characterised by specialised sub-cellular compartments. This compartmental organisation demands that newly synthesised proteins are accurately and efficiently targeted to their appropriate sub-cellular locations. Compartmentalisation also ensures that unique post-translational modifications can occur to a subset of synthesised proteins. The aim of this unit is to examine the molecular mechanisms of protein sorting in eukaryotes, and will review recent data demonstrating that some of these processes are fundamental to all living cells. A substantial part of the course will involve discussion of recently published papers.
|Unit title||Unit code||Requirement type||Description|
|Cell Membrane Structure & Function||BIOL21141||Pre-Requisite||Recommended|
The aim of this unit is to examine the molecular mechanisms of protein sorting in eukaryotes and will review recent data demonstrating that some of these processes are fundamental to all living cells. A substantial part of the course will involve discussion of recently published papers.
Student will be able to:
- explain the mechanisms which target proteins to a number of compartments (including the nucleus, mitochondria and the secretory pathway)
- appraise the maturation of proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum and their subsequent movement through the secretory pathway
- explain the mechanisms of endocytosis and the regulatory role of lipid-mediated signals
- critique the applications and limitations of specific experimental approaches (both classical and ‘cutting edge’) to dissect and understand the different mechanisms of protein sorting
- demonstrate cognitive skills to analyse and critically interpret experimental data and primary papers relating to protein sorting
Protein targeting to the nucleus:
- The nature of nuclear localisation signals and nuclear pores.
- The role of soluble factors in nuclear import.
Protein targeting to mitochondria:
- Mitochondrial targeting signals.
- Sorting of proteins to specific compartments within mitochondria.
The secretory pathway:
- Protein targeting to the endoplasmic reticulum.
- Protein translocation into and across the ER membrane.
- Post-translational modification, protein folding and quality control at the ER
Mechanisms of vesicular transport:
- Formation of transport vesicles
- Targeting and fusion of transport vesicles
The endocytic pathway:
- Receptor-mediated endocytosis.
- Ubiquitin-dependent receptor down-regulation
There will be a formative ePBL exercise, complementary to the lecture material to further consolidate the course’s experimental/problem-driven approach to the topic of protein sorting.
- Analytical skills
- Critical interpretation of experimental data is a major focus of the unit, developed through the lecture material, primary paper discussion session and the problem-based exercises.
- Oral communication
- Students take part in an active discussion of a primary research paper
- Problem solving
- A problem-based exercise is a major part of the exam for this unit. This is discussed in the lectures and the students attempt several practice problems.
- Written communication
- Students complete an essay plan which is then marked and annotated.
Online examination: Including an essay answer from a choice of three questions and a data interpretation problem 95%
This will be via a formative exercise around a data interpretation problem, which will be marked and annotated, feedback to formative PBL exercise, feedback on the summative essay assessment via grademark. Feedback on the online written exam will be via Grademark.
Reference lists of primary and review articles will be given in lectures.
- Alberts B, Johnson A, Lewis J, Raff M, Roberts K & Walter P, Molecular Biology of the Cell (7th edition), Garland Science/WW Norton, 2022, Recommended
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Assessment written exam||4|
|Independent study hours|
|Martin Pool||Unit coordinator|