BIOC2002 Biochemical Regulation of Cell Function

6 points
(see Timetable)

If this unit does not have an online alternative, then students who are presently unable to enter Western Australia and whose studies would be delayed by an inability to complete this unit, should contact the unit coordinator (details given on this page) to ascertain, on an individual case-by-case basis, if alternate arrangements can be made to support their study in this unit.

Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face Predominantly face-to-face. On campus attendance required to complete this unit. May have accompanying resources online.
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 core unit in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Molecular Life Sciences; Biochemistry of Nutrition major sequences
  • Level 2 elective
This unit focuses on the central role of proteins in controlling or affecting cell function and expands on information covered in BIOC2001 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the Cell. Cells are complex systems containing many thousands of small molecules and larger macromolecules. This complexity enables cells to divide, grow and respond to external changes, and allows specialised cells of multicellular organisms to perform their particular functions. In this unit, the focus is on how these cellular functions are controlled and regulated by intracellular signals and extracellular signals. Understanding how cells regulate their activities allows insight into how an organism responds to and copes with its environment, nutrients and/or diet, infection and disease. The content of the unit is divided into five major themes: (1) metabolic pathways; (2) organelles and energy production; (3) post-translational signal transduction pathways; (4) transcriptional signal transduction pathways; and (5) the cell cycle—regulation and cancer. The laboratories reinforce lecture concepts and train students in biological laboratory skills. Techniques and technologies used in modern biological laboratories are introduced.
Students are able to (1) acquire knowledge in the role of proteins in cell function and (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 the molecular mechanisms by which cells receive and process signals received from the external environment; and (d) 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. In laboratory classes, students are exposed to the current techniques used in biochemical research and acquire skills in problem solving, critical thinking, experimental design and data analysis.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) an examination; (2) continuous assessment to assess laboratory component (online quizzes, marked reports and open-book quizzes); and (3) online themed quizzes. 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 Alyssa Van Dreumel and Dr Peter Arthur
Unit rules
SCIE1106 Molecular Biology of the Cell
(CHEM1004 Biological Chemistry
CHEM1002 Chemistry—Structure and Reactivity)
For students in the Combined Bachelor Masters in Biochemistry of Nutrition or Molecular Life Sciences only: SCIE1106 Molecular Biology of the Cell (ID 1019)
Advisable prior study:
BIOC2001 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the Cell
BIOC2250 Biochemistry, BIOC2202 Biochemical Regulation of Cell Function
Contact hours
Lectures: 2 hours per week; Laboratories: 3 hours per week, as arranged
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.