BIOCHEMISTRY OF CELL SIGNALING

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Code
61785
ACADEMIC YEAR
2021/2022
CREDITS
3 credits during the 2nd year of 11158 APPLIED AND EXPERIMENTAL BIOLOGY (LM-6) GENOVA
SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR
BIO/10
TEACHING LOCATION
GENOVA (APPLIED AND EXPERIMENTAL BIOLOGY)
semester
2° Semester
Teaching materials

OVERVIEW

This class is targeted to students that have already  learned Biochemistry in the preceding three year course of Biology. Here we will analyze up-to-date molecular aspects of the  relationship between the structures of different proteins  and their functional roles. Particularly, we will consider how the altered functions of some proteins contribute to the onset or progression of disorders characterized by an early or delayed occurrence in humans.

AIMS AND CONTENT

LEARNING OUTCOMES

The aims of the course are the molecular mechanisms that control metabolism and cell development (cell-signaling), analyzed in their complex function through the modifications of regulatory proteins, the synthesis and removal of signal molecules, the eventualities with DNA for control transcriptional.  Identification and structural analysis of proteins and molecular domains through the access and use of the main databases.

AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES

This class concerns an up-to-date description of the mechanisms that regulate the connections between structure and function of different human polypeptides. It will be considered the link between the several processes involved in the control of protein structure and the problem of their dysregulation in human pathologies. We will discuss how specific structural signatures on different proteins can regulate their post-transductional modifications, domains organization, acquirement of the native conformation, interaction with molecular partners, localization into specific sub-cellular compartments, extra-cellular release, half-life. At the end of the class, besides an oral examination to establish if correct information is acquired, each student has the opportunity to select and discuss an issue. At this respect, he can utilize a recent scientific paper, among several of them proposed by the teacher, pertaining to a topic of the syllabus. This class should stimulate the appeal of the student for Biochemistry as a rapidly evolving discipline and an important learning outcome is to encourage an exciting approach to the scientific research. 

PREREQUISITES

Prerequisites to follow this class are based on the possibility to understand the scientific terms used to deal the various issues, particularly exploiting the knowledges acquired during the preceding three years course of Biology. It is particularly important that the student is informed about the different 1) human metabolisms included the mechanisms for their enzymatic regulation, 2) levels of structural organization of monomeric and multimeric proteins, 3) functional groups of the side chains present in the twenty amino acids of proteins and their specific reactivity and transformation in the biological context, 4) organization intracellular compartments having specific metabolic specialization, 5) operativity of passive and active transports of molecules and ions through the biological membranes. 

TEACHING METHODS

The lessons will be carried out if possible in presence, guaranteeing however the fruition of the lessons even remotely, through video recording, synchronous or asynchronous. All face-to-face activities will be carried out in compliance with the classroom capacity limits and the distance provided for by current legislation following the COVID19 emergency.

Please refer to the specific AulaWeb application  for any updates due to changes in the health and epidemiological situation.

SYLLABUS/CONTENT

General aspects of the links among the structure, functions, compartmentation, traffic and turnover of proteins.

Types and outcomes of reversible and irreversible post-transductional modifications of proteins, human pathologies related to errors in post-translational processes.

Protein domains: modular structures and formation of protein complexes. The CATH data base.

Mechanisms for the acquirement of higher structural levels by globular proteins and collagen. Folding and misfolding of proteins, the molecular chaperones. Activity of the protein disulfide isomerase, cyclofilins, heat shock proteins, transglutaminase. Human pathologies associated with specific protein misfolding.

Signals involved in the cellular sorting of proteins: molecular bases for import and export in the endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, mitochondria, peroxisomes, nucleus, lysosomes. Pathological effects of altered protein sorting.

Intra and extracellular proteolysis: ubiquitin and calcium-dependent systems, caspases and metallo proteases. Lysosomal protein degradation and lysosomal storage diseases.

RECOMMENDED READING/BIBLIOGRAPHY

Alberts et al.-Molecular Biology of the cell- Last edition- Zanichelli Ed. and recently reviews published on relevant topics 

TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD

Office hours:  Students can meet the teachers by booking individual appointments. The teachers  can be contacted  either by e-mail or telephone. e mail: monica.averna@unige.it  phone: 010 3538423 

Office hours: Students can meet the teacher by booking individual appointments. The teacher can be contacted either by e-mail or telephone. e-mail: roberta.detullio@unige.it  phone: 010 3538160  If it is not possible to meet "in presence", the students will be helped online through interactive meetings.

LESSONS

TEACHING METHODS

The lessons will be carried out if possible in presence, guaranteeing however the fruition of the lessons even remotely, through video recording, synchronous or asynchronous. All face-to-face activities will be carried out in compliance with the classroom capacity limits and the distance provided for by current legislation following the COVID19 emergency.

Please refer to the specific AulaWeb application  for any updates due to changes in the health and epidemiological situation.

LESSONS START

Consult detailed timetable at the following link: https://easyacademy.unige.it/portalestudenti/

EXAMS

EXAM DESCRIPTION

The oral exam includes a first question proposed by a teacher. The answer of the student will be discussed on the relevant images projected during the lessons. A second topic will be selected by the student both from the syllabus or from a recent scientific review that the student will present and discuss. 

Please refer to the specific AulaWeb application  for any updates due to changes in the health and epidemiological situation.

ASSESSMENT METHODS

To assess the degree of knowledge that the students have acquired about the topics contained in the syllabus of this class, the committee will consider positive the ability to analyze and to integrate different aspects of the question proposed. Indeed it is discouraged any passive memorization or the reading of information present in the image that is under discussion. On the other hand it will be considered positive a comprehensive understanding of the bases underlying particular aspects of a phenomenon

Exam schedule

Date Time Location Type Notes
04/02/2022 10:00 GENOVA Orale