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Cellular Communication

Code 12829
Year 3
Semester S2
ECTS Credits 6
Workload PL(15H)/T(30H)/TP(15H)
Scientific area Biochemistry
Entry requirements Having basic notions of: • General Chemistry: - Understanding the molecular structure and chemical bonding. - Knowledge of common chemical reactions (acid/base, oxidation-reduction, hydrolysis, etc). - Understanding of chemical equilibrium. - Concepts of Organic Chemistry. • Biochemistry and Biology: - Knowledge of the major groups of biomolecules and their general properties, specially proteins. - Basic knowledge of Enzymology. - Knowledge of the basic principles of cellular metabolism. - Notions of Cell Biology and Physiology. Practical classes: - Mastering techniques of a general chemistry lab. - Knowledge of how to make the calculations and the procedure for the preparation of solutions from a solid solute and from a concentrated solution of solute. - Knowledge of how to prepare a buffer solution. - Knowing how to perform and interpret a calibration curve.
Mode of delivery face-to-face
Work placements NA
Learning outcomes To understand the main processes of cellular communication and relate them to the coordination of physiological processes in organisms.
To know the main inter and intracellular messengers, how their levels are regulated and to understand their modes of action. Understanding the role of receptors.
At the end of course the student must be able to:
Explain the process of intercellular communication and identify the main intercellular mediators.
Relate the structure of a receptor with its function. Deducing its saturation curve.
Identify and interrelate the main intracellular signaling pathways activated by different types of receptors.
Explain how the different signaling pathways are integrate in the coordination of cellular activity and physiological processes.
To know how to assess experimentally the effect of extracellular mediators in the formation of 2nd messengers.
Analyze a scientific paper, synthesize its information and present it to colleagues.
Syllabus Theoretical classes:
1. Cell communication: general principles.
2. Intercellular communication. Extracellular signals.
3. Receptors.
4. Intracellular signalling.
5. Experimental techniques used in the study of cell communication.
6. G protein-coupled Receptors.
6.1. G protein modulated enzymes. Adenylyl cyclase. Phospholipase C.
6.2. Receptor-regulated ion channels.
7. Ca2+ as an intracellular messenger.
8. Receptors with enzyme activity.
8.1. Guanylyl cyclases.
8.2. Tyrosine kinase receptors. PLC-gamma, Ras/MAPK and PI3-K/PKB signaling pathways.
8.3. Serine/threonine kinase receptors.
9. Signalling through adhesion molecules.
10. Notch/Delta, Wnt and Hedgehog signalling pathways.
13. Neurotransmission.
14. The cell cycle. Apoptosis.

Practical classes:
Theoretical-practical work involving extracellular mediator-stimulated 2nd messenger quantitation.
Solving of exercises.
Presentation and discussion by the student of a scientific paper.
Main Bibliography [1] Gomperts, B.D., Kramer, I.M., & Tatham, P.E.R. (2009) – Signal Transduction. 2nd ed. Elsevier Academic Press.
[2] Hancock, J.T. (2005) – Cell Signalling. 2nd ed. Oxford University Press.
[3] Lodish, H., Berk, A., Matsudaira, P., Kaiser, C.A., Krieger, M., Scott, M.P., Zipursky, S.L. & Darnell, J. (2004) – Molecular Cell Biology. 5th ed. W.H. Freeman and Company.
[4] D. Voet & Voet, J. (2004) – Biochemistry. 3rd ed. Wiley.
[5] Alberts, B., Bray, D., Lewis, J., Raff, M., Roberts, K. & Watson, J.D. (1994) – Molecular Biology of the Cell. 3rd ed. Garland Publishing.
Teaching Methodologies and Assessment Criteria Conventional expositive theoretical classes. To encourage the participation of students in theoretical classes, the students, divided into groups, will present and discuss part of the theoretical classes.
In order to contact with and to apply experimental methodologies used in the study of cellular communication, the students will perform a practical work. Based on the results obtained, the students, divided into groups, will prepare a scientific report.
The students should be able to analyze, synthesize and communicate scientific information, for that purpose it will be provided a scientific paper to be presented and discussed in class.
In the theoretical-practical classes the students will explore and apply to new problems the concepts presented in the theoretical classes.
Language Portuguese. Tutorial support is available in English.
Last updated on: 2024-06-13

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