UWA Handbook 2017

Unit details

BIOC2202 Biochemical Regulation of Cell Function

Credit 6 points
(see Timetable)
Non-standard teaching periodSingapore - Life & Physical SciencesFace to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 elective
Content This unit focuses on the central role of proteins in controlling or affecting cell function and expands on information covered in BIOC2201 Biochemistry of the Cell. The roles of proteins are examined in cellular activities of metabolism, protein sorting, and communication between cells and cell division. Diseases such as diabetes and cancer are discussed in the context of protein dysfunction.

The content of the unit is divided into several major themes: (1) Metabolism—this is concerned with understanding how the interactions of multiple proteins results in the generation of energy required to fuel the cell; (2) Metabolic integration and control—emphasis is placed on understanding how extracellular and intracellular signals control metabolic pathways; diabetes is described in the context of dysfunctional control; (3) Protein sorting and compartmentation—describes how proteins are directed to specific intracellular locations, and emphasises similarities and specific differences in directing proteins to different organelles in the complex eukaryotic cell; (4) Signal transduction—the information pathways used by chemical messengers such as hormones are considered; and (5) Cell cycle control—introduces specific proteins involved in control of the cell cycle and emphasises how their discovery has been made through molecular studies of diseases such as cancer.

The laboratories reinforce lecture concepts and train students in biological laboratory skills. Techniques and technologies used in modern biological laboratories are introduced.
Outcomes Students are able to (1) acquire knowledge in the role of proteins in cell function; (2) learn (a) how the organising principle of metabolic pathways is used to understand the complexity of cells containing many thousands of small molecules and macromolecules; (b) how extracellular signals and intracellular signals cause a coordinated response by metabolic pathways; (c) how proteins are directed to specific intracellular locations in the eukaryotic cell; (d) the molecular mechanisms by which cells receive and process signals received from the external environment; and (e) how various signals from outside and inside the cell contribute to the regulation of the cell cycle and how defects in these pathways can lead to cancer; and (3) be exposed to the methodologies used in biochemical research and acquire skills in problem solving, critical thinking, experimental design and data analysis.
Assessment Typically this unit is assessed in the following ways: (1) examinations to assess theoretical component; and (2) continuous assessment to assess laboratory component. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s) Dr Peter Arthur
Unit rules
Prerequisites: SCIE1106 Molecular Biology of the Cell and six points of (CHEM1101 Inorganic and Physical Chemistry; CHEM1102 Organic Chemistry; CHEM1103 Biological Organic Chemistry; CHEM1104 Biological Inorganic and Physical Chemistry; CHEM1105 Introductory Chemistry; CHEM1106 Biological Chemistry; CHEM1001 Chemistry—Properties and Energetics; CHEM1002 Chemistry—Structure and Reactivity; CHEM1003 Introductory Chemistry or CHEM1004 Biological Chemistry)
Co-requisites: BIOC2201 Biochemistry of the Cell is highly recommended
Incompatibility: BIOC2250 Biochemistry

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