Cell Physiology and Biology

Learn the many functional components of cells, their roles within the organs and systems they reside in and how they work on a biochemical level to deliver the physiology we see and expect.
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1. An Introduction to the Cell

Be able to recognise the different organelles within a eukaryotic human cell and know their function.

2. Introduction to DNA

Be able to understand the packaging and structure of DNA and describe DNA replication.

3. Structure of Proteins

Understand the structure of an amino acid and the different states an amino acid can exist in, the formation of a polypeptide, the various structures of a polypeptide, how the structure of the protein can affect its function and how misfolding of a protein can affect its role within the human body.

4. Protein Function in Oxygen Transport

Understand the structure and function of myoglobin and haemoglobin, draw comparisons between the haem proteins myoglobin and haemoglobin, describe and explain how haemoglobin’s affinity for oxygen can be changed by molecules or changes in the surroundings, be able to explain how foetal haemoglobin differs from adult haemoglobin and why this is important in the development of a foetus and understand how a mutation in the globin chain genes for haemoglobin can lead to diseases such as thalassaemia and sickle cell anaemia.

5. Enzymes and Regulation of Protein Function

Be able to understand the important role enzymes play in reactions, the features of enzymes that allow them to carry out their function, be able to describe the kinetics of enzymes, understand how enzymes and other proteins are regulated in various ways in the short term and long term and understand how the blood clotting cascade is an example of regulating proteins.

6. Molecular Techniques for Medics

Be aware of and have a basic understanding of the molecular techniques used in labs to create diagnoses and analyse genomes, using patient samples.

7. Post-Translational Modification and Collagen Biosynthesis

Describe the most common types of post-translational modification including phosphorylation and glycosylation, understand how the most common types of post-translational modification affect the activity of proteins, describe how insulin is an example of proteolytic cleavage, describe the two types of secretory pathways, understand the structure of collagen, describe the synthesis of collagen and the various post-translational modifications that occur in collagen synthesis, understand how deficiencies in certain molecules can lead to abnormalities in the structure of collagen.

8. Protein Targeting

Understand the differences in where proteins are produced within the cell depending on their overall function and the common processes for targeting proteins to the various organelles with a cell.

9. Biological Membranes

Describe the structure of a cellular membrane and relate this to its function, with particular reference to the erythrocyte membrane.

10. G-Protein Coupled Receptors

Understand the structure of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) and their role in signal transduction, with reference to some tissue-specific examples.

11. Membrane Transport and Intracellular Calcium Regulation

Describe the mechanisms by which substances can cross cell membranes, with particular reference to calcium ions.

12. Membrane Potentials

Understand what is meant by the cell’s membrane potential and be able to explain how the membrane potential is generated and how it can be changed.

13. Action Potentials

Understand how an action potential is generated and propagated in neurones and be able to explain how neurones communicate with skeletal muscle cells at the neuromuscular junction.

14. Autonomic Nervous System Introduction

Understand the organisation of the autonomic nervous system and the actions of the autonomic nervous system at a physiological and molecular level.

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