BIOC2002 Biochemical Regulation of Cell Function

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 core unit in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major sequence
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Life and Health Sciences
  • Category B broadening unit for students
  • 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 Peter Arthur
Unit rules
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)
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.
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  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.