Module Overview

Cell Signalling & Growth

This module expands the understanding of cellular functions carried out in eukaryotic cells and aims to promote an awareness of integrated cellular processes. Molecular detail of cell communication, cell cycle control and cell death are covered with a focus on the structure/function relationships of key cell signalling components. This information is applied to mammalian cell culture methods to provide a deeper understanding of how cells behave and rely on cell signalling cascades to function.

Module Code

BIOL 3017

ECTS Credits


*Curricular information is subject to change

Cellular communication:

  • General components of intracellular signalling pathways
  • Receptors: cell surface & intracellular, classification and structure: ion-channel, G-protein coupled, enzyme-linked, nuclear receptors
  • Details of G-protein cyclical activation/inactivation
  • Main targets for G-proteins: AC/cAMP & PLC/IP3 signalling cascades
  • Receptor tyrosine kinase and Ras signalling cascades

Cell cycle regulation

  • Cell cycle control system: protein kinases and concept of phosphorylation/dephosphorylation
  • Cyclins and CDKs: mechanism of CDK activation and inhibition with specific examples
  • Growth factors: overview, proto-oncogenes, tumor supressors
  • Growth factor signalling/cell cycle interface

Programmed cell death

  • Morphological features
  • Structure/types of procaspases/caspases
  • Intracellular proteolytic cascade
  • Bcl-2 family
  • Intrinsic/extrinsic apoptotic pathways

Mammalian cell growth and proliferation: introduction to cell & tissue culture techniques

  • Cell lines and types
  • Monitoring cell growth and subculture
  • Cell separation and quantification
  • Characterisation and differentiation
  • Transformation and immortalisation
  • Mammalian scale-up and automation

Lectures (20 hours), tutorials, online student response systems, online movie animations, in-class quizzes, scientific paper review and laboratory-based practical sessions.

Module Content & Assessment
Assessment Breakdown %
Formal Examination60
Other Assessment(s)40