Teaching plan for the course unit

 

 

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Pursuant to Resolution SLT/275/2021, of 5 February, which renews and amends public health measures for the containment of the epidemic outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Catalonia, on 9 February 2021 the Rector of the University of Barcelona, following consultation of the deans of faculty and the Student Council, ruled that theory classes for the second semester of the academic year 2020-2021 should be offered partially as face-to-face learning for first-year students, while all other tuition should should continue to be given online.
The resolutions announced since the beginning of the academic year 2020-2021 with regard to the public health crisis provide for possible changes to the organization of tuition and the resulting amendments to certain sections of the course plans for affected subjects. Any such amendments are described in addenda to the original course plans.



General information

 

Course unit name: Cell Biology

Course unit code: 361560

Academic year: 2020-2021

Coordinator: Jesus Mariano Ureña Bares

Department: Department of Cell Biology, Physiology and Immunology

Credits: 6

Single program: S

 

 

Prior considerations

 

Articles in different journals available through the University of Barcelona Library (www.bib.ub.edu), such as: Annual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology, Current Opinion in Cell Biology, Trends in Cell Biology, Trends in Biochemistry, Trends in Genetics, Nature Reviews, etc.

 

 

Estimated learning time

Total number of hours 150

 

Face-to-face and/or online activities

56

 

-  Lecture

Face-to-face and online

 

28

 

-  Laboratory session

Face-to-face and online

 

15

 

-  Seminar

Face-to-face and online

 

13

Supervised project

44

Independent learning

50

 

 

Recommendations

 

During the seminar sessions, problems previously proposed by teachers are addressed. It is highly recommended that students try to solve these exercises before the session. Students are also encouraged to discuss alternative solutions to these problems.

 

 

Competences to be gained during study

 

   -

Capacity for learning and responsibility (capacity for analysis and synthesis, to adopt global perspectives and to apply the knowledge acquired/capacity to take decisions and adapt to new situations).

   -

Understanding of life processes based on the cellular and molecular study of organisms.

   -

Capacity to design, plant, carry out and evaluate experiments and research projects.

   -

Ability to evaluate and interpret scientific literature and to present it orally or in writing.

   -

Understanding of the structures and processes of eukaryotic cells.

   -

Skills to apply instrumental, analytical and molecular techniques.

   -

Capacity to separate substances isolated from living cells and determining their structures, chemical properties and functional properties.

Learning objectives

 

Referring to knowledge

— Know the structure and molecular composition of eukaryotic cells.

 

— Learn about the organisation, function and interactions between different cellular structures and organelles. 

 

— Know the structural, functional and molecular bases of the main cellular processes, including differentiation, adhesion, cell cycle, cell death and the interactions responsible for tissue formation and maintenance. 

 

— Know the basic laboratory techniques used in research in cell biology: imaging, analytical techniques such as chromatography, electrophoresis, centrifugation, FACS, gene analysis, etc.

 

— Learn basic rules and skills to work in a cell biology and cell culture laboratory.

 

— Read scientific literature critically, including original articles and reviews.

 

— Apply the methodological and conceptual basis of biology to interpret experimental results.

 

 

Teaching blocks

 

I. Cytoskeleton

*  
1. Actin filaments

  • Introduction to the cytoskeleton; Molecular features: expression and molecular forms; Balance between soluble and insoluble fraction: molecular kinetics and proteins associated to the cytoskeleton
  • Actin molecule; Expression and control; Functional domains of the G-actin; Molecular variants
  • Balance between G-actin & F-actin in vitro and in vivo
  • Functional regulation of actin-associated proteins


2. Microtubules
  • Tubulin molecule; Expression and control; Factors that regulate dimerisation; Functional domains; Molecular forms
  • Balance between dimer and microtubule in vitro: polymerisation
  • Balance between dimer and microtubule in vivo: microtubule-associated proteins
  • Regulation


3. Intermediate filaments
  • Molecules that form intermediate filaments; Expression and control; Functional domains of the IF polypeptide; Categories of genes and groups of proteins
  • Balance between tetramer and IF in vitro: polymerisation
  • Cytoskeleton of plants

II. Extracellular matrix, adhesion and signalling

*  
4. Extracellular matrix

  • The cell and its environment; Extracellular constituents
  • Fibrillar, fibril-associated and network-assembled collagen; Elastic fibres
  • Glycosaminoglycans; Proteoglycans
  • Multiadhesive proteins: fibronectin, laminin
  • Plant cell wall


5. Adhesion
  • Introduction
  • Features of adhesive molecules: domains of affinity, notion of receptor, contra-receptor, ligand, homophilic and heterophilic association; Associated signalling
  • Integrins
  • Cadherins
  • Adhesion molecules of the immunoglobulin superfamily
  • Selectins: types and molecular characteristics; Leukodiapedesis
  • Other adhesion-related molecules


6. Intracellular signalling
  • Types of signalling; Membrane-associated receptors
  • Receptors coupled to trimeric proteins; The adenylate cyclase-cAMP-PKA pathway, and IP3/DAG pathway
  • Tyrosine kinase receptors and the MAPK pathway

III. Intracellular transport and organelles

*  
7. Compartmentalisation of cells and transport of cytosolic proteins

8. Cell nucleus: structure, function and transport between nucleus and cytosol

9. Mitochondria, chloroplasts and peroxisomes: structure, function and protein import

  • Compartmentalisation of mitochondria, chloroplasts and peroxisomes
  • Models of study of transport between cytosol and mitochondrion, or cytosol and chloroplast
  • Model of transport to mitochondria and chloroplasts: translocation complexes and energetic requirements
  • Transport to peroxisomes; Peroxins


10. Secretory pathway
  • Endoplasmic reticulum
  • Golgi apparatus


11. Transport to lysosomes, endocytosis and endocytic pathway
  • Lysosomes
  • Endocytosis mediated by receptor


12. Vesicular transport

IV. Cell cycle and apoptosis

*  
13. Cell cycle and components of its control system

  • Introduction
  • Phases of cell cycle
  • Components of cell-cycle control system; Cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs); Cyclins; Cyclin-CDK complexes
  • Regulation of cyclin-CDK complexes; Activation of the complexes by CAK; Enzymes that covalently modify the CDKs; Inhibitors of the complex cyclin-CDK


14. Regulation of the cell cycle
  • Introduction
  • Control of mitosis; Control of the transition G2/M; Control of the transition metaphase-anaphase
  • Control of the transition G1/S; Cyclin D; The retinoblastoma protein; Family of E2F transcription factors; Checkpoints
  • Control of the S-phase; Formation of the pre-replicative complex; Activation of the origins of replication; Control of double replication


15. Control of cell cycle in response to DNA damage

16. Apoptosis

 

 

Teaching methods and general organization

 

The course is equivalent to 6 ECTS credits and is organised in groups of up to 80 students. Learning activities are distributed as follows:

  • Theory lectures: groups of 80 students, 28 sessions.
  • Seminars: groups of 40 students, 13 sessions.
  • Laboratory practical sessions: groups of 12 students, 15 hours.


* The proposed teaching methodology may experience some modifications depending on the restrictions to face-to-face activities enforced by health authorities.

 

 

Official assessment of learning outcomes

 

  • Two mid-semester exams: one at the end of October (10% of the final grade), another in December (15%).
  • Practical laboratory sessions: a multiple-choice test (15%) on the same day of the final examination.
  • Final examination: it covers the entire programme and takes place at the end of January / early February (60%).


In order to pass the course, a final grade of 5 out of 10 must be achieved.

* Students’ assessment may experience some modifications depending on the restrictions to face-to-face activities enforced by health authorities.

 

Examination-based assessment

  • Final examination: it covers the entire programme and takes place at the end of January / early February (85% of the final grade).
  • Practical laboratory sessions: a multiple-choice test (15%) on the same day of the final examination.


In order to pass the course, a final grade of 5 out of 10 must be achieved.

* Student’s assessment may experience some modifications depending on the restrictions to face-to-face activities enforced by health authorities.

 

 

 

 

Adaptation of theory classes for online and blending learning during the academic year 2020-2021. Provisions for blended learning apply only to first-year bachelor's degree students.

 

-Theory classes and seminars, initially programmed for "in person" teaching (1/3-2/3 approximately) will be 100% online

Les classes de teoria, seminaris i teòrico-pràctica programades presencial/no presencial (1/3-2/3 aproximadament) passen a ser 100% en línia.

- Computer practices will be online

Les pràctiques d’ordinador es passen a mode en línia