Course Descriptions

Special Topics in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry (01:694:420) Membrane Dynamics in Health and Disease

This course is intended for Life Science majors or those with a strong background in the Biological Sciences.

This course may be used to fulfill the elective requirements of the Biological Sciences major.

Offered: Mon/Wed 1:00-2:20 pm in SEC206

Credits:  3

Prerequisites: Prerequisites: 01:447:380 or 447:385/385 and 694:301 or 694:407.

Course Description This is an upper level course, targeted at seniors. In Fall 2020 the course will be given in an asynchronous manner.  All of the content will be posted in videos and lecture notes on the course Canvas site.  There will be two 80 minute discussion periods each week to answer student questions about the material.  Students will be expected to work through the assigned readings and take review quizzes on their own BEFORE the relevant discussion section meets. Discussion sections will be recorded and posted to Canvas.  An online discussion board will also be available for question and answer.

The purposes of the course are:

(a) to introduce students to several important research areas of advanced molecular biology and biochemistry, in particular topics related to molecular membrane trafficking pathways, signal transduction, and their connections to immune system function.

(b) to train students to think logically and independently, especially with respect to critical reading of the primary research literature.

(c) to train students in public presentation skills.

The course will present contemporary concepts and experimental techniques not covered in other classes.

Week  Topics

1          Introduction to the course, membrane biology, model organisms, choose presentation groups

            Organellar Transport - Nucleus and Mitochondrial Import-Export (presented by Dr. Grant)

2          First Primary Paper (presented by Dr. Grant) Cell. 1996 Sep 20;86(6):985-94. A novel receptor-mediated nuclear protein import pathway. Pollard VW, Michael WM, Nakielny S, Siomi MC, Wang F, Dreyfuss G.

Introduction to Membrane Lipids (Dr. Loren Runnels guest lecture)

3          Membrane Traffic 1: General Principles (presented by Dr. Grant)

Second Primary Paper (presented by Student Group 1) Cell. 2011 Feb 4;144(3):389-401. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2010.12.034. Osh Proteins Regulate Phosphoinositide Metabolism at ER-plasma Membrane Contact Sites. Christopher J Stefan, Andrew G Manford, Daniel Baird, Jason Yamada-Hanff, Yuxin Mao, Scott D Emr

4          Excitable Membranes (Dr. Loren Runnels guest lecture)

            Membrane Traffic 2: Secretion, Endocytosis, Intracellular Cargo Sorting (presented by Dr. Grant)

5          Third Primary Paper (presented by Student Group 2) Nat Cell Biol. 2009 Dec;11(12):1399-410. doi: 10.1038/ncb1986. AMPH-1/Amphiphysin/Bin1 functions with RME-1/Ehd1 in endocytic recycling. Pant S, Sharma M, Patel K, Caplan S, Carr CM, Grant BD

            Exam 1

6          Introduction to the cytoskeleton and molecular motors (presented by Dr. Grant)

            Fourth Primary Paper (presented by Student Group 3) J Cell Biol. 2019 Jan 7;218(1):220-233. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201805016. Dynein activator Hook1 is required for trafficking of BDNF-signaling endosomes in neurons. Olenick MA, Dominguez R, Holzbaur ELF

7          Intercellular Signaling – Notch, EGF, TGF-beta Pathways, and Genetic Epistasis  (presented by Dr. Grant)

Fifth Primary Paper (presented by Student Group 4) Nature. 2002 Dec 12;420(6916):686-90. doi: 10.1038/nature01234. Endocytosis-mediated Downregulation of LIN-12/Notch Upon Ras Activation in Caenorhabditis elegans. Daniel D Shaye, Iva Greenwald

8          Membrane Traffic 3: Phagocytosis and Autophagy  (presented by Dr. Grant)

Sixth Primary Paper (presented by Student Group 5) Science. 2011 Nov 25;334(6059):1141-4. doi: 10.1126/science.1210333. Degradation of paternal mitochondria by fertilization-triggered autophagy in C. elegans embryos. Sato M, Sato K.

9          Seventh Primary Paper (presented by Student Group 6) Nature. 2010 Apr 1;464(7289):778-82. doi: 10.1038/nature08853. Identification of two evolutionarily conserved genes regulating processing of engulfed apoptotic cells. Kinchen JM, Ravichandran KS

            Exam 2

10        Cell migration - actin polymerization, cell adhesion, and actomyosin contraction (presented by Dr. Matsumura)

            Role of endocytosis in cell migration (presented by Dr. Matsumura)

11        Eighth Primary Paper (presented by Student Group 7) Science 2000 Feb 11;287(5455):1037-40. doi: 10.1126/science.287.5455.1037. Polarization of chemoattractant receptor signaling during neutrophil chemotaxis. G Servant, O D Weiner, P Herzmark, T Balla, J W Sedat, H R Bourne

            Functions of dendritic cells: Antigen presentation & The Immunological synapse (presented by Dr. Matsumura)

12        Dendritic cell migration & CCR7 signaling (presented by Dr. Matsumura)

            Role of IL-6 signaling in chemotaxis - case study (presented by Dr. Matsumura)

13        Ninth Primary Paper (presented by Student Group 8) Immunity. 2016 Jan 19;44(1):59-72. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2015.12.010. Inflammation-Induced CCR7 Oligomers Form Scaffolds to Integrate Distinct Signaling Pathways for Efficient Cell Migration. Mark A Hauser, Karin Schaeuble, Ilona Kindinger, Daniela Impellizzieri, Wolfgang A Krueger, Christof R Hauck, Onur Boyman, Daniel F Legler

            Thanksgiving Break

14        Tenth Primary Paper (presented by Student Group 9) EMBO J. 1992 Nov;11(11):3887-95. Induced expression of PD-1, a novel member of the immunoglobulin gene superfamily, upon programmed cell death. Y Ishida, Y Agata, K Shibahara, T Honjo

            Exam 3

Course URL: Canvas site

Course satisfies Learning Goals

1. Students should demonstrate an understanding of the knowledge that is needed to begin biomedical research and that is required for post-graduate exams and studies.

2. Students should demonstrate the ability to find and evaluate information about specific biological systems or problems.

Exams, Assignments, and Grading Policy 

Grades will be assigned on the basis of daily quizzes, three non-cumulative exams, and one student recorded presentation to the class (20% each), as well as extra credit for participation in class discussion (10%). The exams will consist of true-false, multiple choice, and short answer questions in which students are required to synthesize information from readings, lectures, and discussions.

Exams and Quizzes will be timed asynchronous over a 10 hr period and will account for 60% of the grade for exams, and 20% for the quizzes.  The exams will focus on the material covered in the lectures, data analysis, and assigned reading.  The exams are not cumulative. The quizzes will focus on the assigned reading material for each class day.

Course Materials: All readings posted on Canvas.

Course Closed? If this course is closed please contact Dr. Grant (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Faculty: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. & This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


** All information is subject to change at the discretion of the course coordinator.