This course covers the area of molecular biology called signal transduction including the activation of cell surface receptors, the generation of secondary messengers and intracellular ionic currents. The study of signal transduction will focus primarily on the activation of cell surface receptors including tyrosine kinase and serpentine receptors. The interaction of signalling molecules with the activated receptors and the generation of secondary messengers including cAMP, the products of phospholipid metabolism and intracellular ionic currents will be described. Particular attention will be devoted to the activation of monomeric and trimeric GTPases. Finally, this course will summarize the results of recent investigations of the serine/threonine protein kinase cascades. Lectures given by the course director(s) will be followed by critical class discussions of recent papers. Students are expected at the end of the course to summarize the recent advances on one of the topics described above in an oral presentation and to write a critical review on a subject pertaining to signal transduction. Not all topics will be discussed each time the course is offered.
Prerequisites: Undergraduate courses in biochemistry and molecular biology. The course will be offered as 3 hr lecture per week for 6 weeks.
Oral presentation(s) 40%
Critical review essay 40%
Class participation 20%
The oral presentation will be 30-minutes in length and will focus on a topic of signal transduction. The presentation will be followed by a class discussion. Students will also be expected to write a 3000-4000 word critical review essay on a related topic. Reading material including recent research and review articles will be distributed and discussed in class.
All materials for this course will be provided by original research and review articles in the current literature.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA
The EMBO Journal
Annual Review of Genetics
Molecular and Cellular Biology
The Journal of Molecular Biology
Genes and Development
Annual Review of Biochemistry
The Journal of Biological Chemistry