Aims of the course:
To help the students understand the basic principles of cell biology, the importance of the cell structure to its functions and the roles of both the subcellular organelles and the major biological macromolecules. To achieve these goals, the course presents various areas of cell biology, i.e. starting with the presentation of the chemistry of the cells and the biosynthesis of its macromolecules (DNA, RNA, proteins etc) and continuing into the structure of the mambraneous cell organelles, the pathways of intracellular transport, energy production and cell communication. Special emphasis will be given in aspects that are usefull to pharmacy students, e.g. the cellular and molecular basis of disease and drug effects on the cell structure and function.
Skills: Familiarization with key concepts of cell biology.
Course Content (Syllabus)
Introduction to the Cell: Life and its study. Introduction to the cell and its components. Cell theory. Observing cells under a microscope. Similarities and differences between cells.
The chemical composition of the cells: Chemical bonds. Characteristics and the role of water. The molecules of the cell. Structures of simple sugars, polysaccharides, fatty acids/fats/lipids, nucleic acids and proteins. Enzymes, enzymatic reactions, allosteric motor proteins and protein machines.
Biological membranes, Intracellular compartments and transport: The lipid bilayer, membrane proteins (categories of membrane proteins, modes of attachment to the membranes, functions, the role of the cell cortex). Membranes carbohydrates and the importance of glycocalyx. Membrane organelles-structure and biological roles. Mechanisms of protein sorting and import to organelles (co- & post-translational translocation, the role and significance of signal sequences). The role of molecular chaperones in the protein transport across membranes, as well as on protein quality control. Vesicular transport (cargo selection, vesicle budding, targeting and docking of transport vesicles). Sectretory pathway and the role of the Golgi apparatus. Endocytosis, phagocytosis and structure and functions of lysosomes.
Cytoskeleton: The role(s) of cytoskeleton. Intermedidate fillaments. Microtubules and biological importance of their dynamic instability. The microtubules as highways for the transport of vesicles and other cell components. Microtubule motor proteins and their importance. Structure and function of actin in cell structure and movement. Attachment to motor proteins and myosins.
Mitochondria and Chloroplasts, the energy centers of the eukaryotic cells: Biological oxidations and energy production. The mitochondrions and its morphology. Degradation and oxidation of macromolecules. Respiratory chain and chemiosmotic conversion of oxidation energy to ATP. Chloroplasts and plastid morphology. Biological significance of the chloroplasts-Photosynthesis. Mitochondrial and plastid biogenesis and genome.
Protein synthesis, folding, modifications and degradation: The genetic code; codons, anticodons & transport RNAs; Reading frames in tranlation; Ribosome, the place of mRNA decoding; The process of translation and its regulation; Post-translational protein modifications, protein folding and degradation. The roles of molecular chaperones in protein folding, transport and sorting. Protein degradation.
Organization, storage and reproduction of the genetic information: The genetic information resides in DNA; DNA and genetic code; DNA structure and organization. Eukaryotic chromatin structure: euchromatin, heterochromatin and their significance. Nucleosomes (structure and importance); Higher levels of chromatin organization-chromosomes; DNA replication: mechanism and enzymes involved in the process; The problem of replication at the ends and the role of telomerase. DNA damage, mutations and DNA repair mechanisms.
Transmission of the Genetic Infromation: The process of transcription, RNA polymerases and their functions; promoters and transcription initiation, general and regulatory transcription factors; the roles of chromatin and of the histone modifications on transcription; the role of DNA methylation and chromatin structure in heritable gene silencing; Post-transcriptional maturation of eukaryotic RNAs (cap addition, splicing and 3’ end maturation).
Cell cycle and Cell Death: The stages of the cell cyclle; Cell cycle regulation (the importance of checkpoints, cyclins and cyclin-dependent kinases); Stages of mitosis; The role of cytoskeleton in mitosis; Meiosis and sexual reproduction; Programmed cell death and its biological significance; Structural and functional of the cells undergoing programmed cell death; death signals; the roles and regulation of caspase activity; the role of mitochondria; anti-apoptotic factors.
Multicellular Organization and Cancer: Extracellular matrix and connective tissue; epithelium and intercellular junctions; Tissue maintenance and renewal-Deregulation in Cancer; Molecular roles oncogenes anti-oncogenes.
Course Bibliography (Eudoxus)
1. Alberts B.,Bray D.,Hopkin K.,Johnson A.,Lewis J.,Raff M.,Roberts K.,Walter P. “Βασικές αρχές κυτταρικής βιολογίας”, 3η έκδοση, 2015, εκδόσεις Broken Hill Publishers Ltd
2. Β. Μαρμάρας & Μ. Λαμπροπούλου-Μαρμάρα, “ΒΙΟΛΟΓΙΑ ΚΥΤΤΑΡΟΥ”, Έκδοση: 5/2005, Εκδόσεις ΤΥΠΟΡΑΜΑ - Αγοργιανίτης Σπ. Μον. ΕΠΕ
3. Geoffrey M. Cooper & Robert E. Hausman “Το Κύτταρο: Μια Μοριακή Προσέγγιση”, 5η έκδ. 2011, , Ακαδημαϊκές Εκδόσεις Ι. Μπάσδρα & Σια.