87614 - Molecular Biology of the Cell

Course Unit Page

SDGs

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Good health and well-being Quality education Industry, innovation and infrastructure Life on land

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The successful student is provided with an in-depth understanding of the molecular organization of cells and knows the basic mechanisms of gene regulation, protein synthesis, DNA replication, repair and recombination.

Course contents

INTRODUCTION: CELLS AND GENOMES

The Universal features of cells. Cellular building blocks. The genome as working blueprint for life. Central Dogma of molecular biology. Protein folding, domains, modifications, interactions. Plasma membrane. The lipid bilayer. Range of cell sizes and shapes.

STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION OF NUCLEIC ACIDS

DNA double helix. DNA topological variations, supercoiling. The bacterial nucleoid. Chromosomal DNA and its packaging in Chromatin Fiber. Structure and versatility of RNA

CELL REPLICATION

The eukaryotic cell cycle. Cyclins and cdks. DNA replication. Chromosome segregation. The mitotic spindle.

TRANSCRIPTION

From DNA to RNA. Polymerases, Promoters, Termination. Transcriptional regulation

RNA PROCESSING

Capping. Polyadenylation. rRNA maturation, RNA Editing, RNA modifications

TRANSLATION

From RNA to protein: the genetic code. Ribosomes. tRNAs, AA-tRNA synthases the second genetic code. Translation initiation, elongation and termination, stop signals & release factors, Protein chaperones. Proteasome

RIBOREGULATION

Regulation by non-coding RNAs.Bacterial sRNAs, riboswitches.

 

Student Workshops

  • Cellular responses to DNA damage
  • dsDNA break repair & homologous recombination
  • Intracellular membrane transport
  • Principles of cell signaling
  • The cytoskeleton
  • Apoptosis
  • Cell junctions and the ECM

 

Hands-on lab

In vivo study of the post-transcriptional regulation mediated by the RyhB sRNA in Escherichia coli

  • Site directed mutagenesis
  • Preparative gel electrophoresis
  • DNA purification
  • Ligation
  • Molecular cloning
  • GFP reporter gene fusions
  • fluorimetry and flow cytometry

 

SEQUENCE ANALYSIS EXERCIZES


 

Readings/Bibliography

Craig et al.

Molecular Biology - Principles of Genome Function - second edition

OXFORD Press

 

Alberts et al.

Molecular Biology of the Cell - sixth edition

Garland Science

 

Milo & Phillips

Cell Biology by the Numbers

freely available from http://book.bionumbers.org/

 

Additional teaching material will be made available through the Virtuale UniBO repository. https://virtuale.unibo.it

Teaching methods

Frontal instruction with summarizing powerpoint presentations

Estimates and exercises to train biological numeracy

Problem posing and solving sessions, active classroom approaches

Student workshops

Hands-on activity (wet-lab)

Sequence analysis exercises

Assessment methods

Written examination, including 5 sections:

  • Basic questions quiz
  • In depth questions quiz
  • Open questions
  • Strip sequence
  • Analytical questions

Workshop evaluation

Lab report

Teaching tools

Blackboard/whiteboard

.pdf/.ppt slide presentations

Movies

Group collaborative learning

Bioinformatics lab (DNA editing software)

Molecular wet-lab activities

Office hours

See the website of Alberto Danielli