Molecular Cell Biology

15 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 1BG320

A revised version of the syllabus is available.
Education cycle
Second cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Biology A1N
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with credit (4), Pass with distinction (5)
Finalised by
The Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 6 November 2007
Responsible department
Biology Education Centre

Entry requirements

At least two years of basic courses in Natural Sciences, equivalent to 50 Swedish points/75 ECTS credits in Biology and 20 Swedish points/30 ECTS credits in Chemistry. Biology courses should include Cell Biology, Genetics and Gene Technology, the Evolution and Diversity of Organisms, Physiology and Ecology. Alternatively, one year of Chemistry, of which 10 Swedish points/15 ECTS credits shall be in Biochemistry, together with 20 Swedish points/30 ECTS credits in Biology including the Evolution and Diversity of Organisms, Physiology and Genetics and Gene Technology.

Learning outcomes

The course aims to give the students a good understanding at the molecular level of processes in cells and organisms.

After the course, the student shall be able to

  • explain the principles and the structural and mechanistic details for important processes in cells and organisms (cell growth, gene expressions, signal transduction, cell structure, cell differentiation and cell adhesion) and be able to discuss the complexity of the different systems that interact.
  • be familiar with certain key experiments within the subject area, analyse experimental data, draw conclusions from these and formulate scientific hypotheses
  • use this knowledge and understanding to analyse chosen subjects within current research in the area and present analyses orally and in poster
  • be able to use certain important laboratory techniques (the mammal cell culture, light microscopy, immuno precipitation, gel electrophoresis)
  • analyse structural details in proteins and protein complex with molecular graphics program


The course consists of a theoretical part with lectures and seminars and a practical part with laboratory sessions and computer exercises. Furthermore, a smaller project is included, where the students present current results within a research field.

In the course, the following part is included

Signal transduction: The principles for chemical communication between cells; signal molecules and receptors, components in intracellular signal paths and their function

The cytoskeleton: The architecture and the dynamics at the three cytoskeleton systems and their motor proteins

Adhesion: Proteins in the extracellular matrix and the cellular adhesions proteins and their interactions; various types of adhesions complexes; the nerve synapse as examples of a specialised cell contact

The cell cycle: Regulation and mechanisms for cell replication in prokaryotes and eukaryotes; the importance of molecular mechanisms for origin of cancer growth

Transcription: The roles of general and specific transcription factors for the initiation of the transcription, protein-DNA interaction, the mRNA processing

Translation and protein targeting: Mechanisms for regulation of initiation of the translation, mechanisms for the peptide synthesis and the control of the precision in the synthesis, the protein processing and quality control in endoplasmic reticulum, the vesicle carried protein transport

Computer exercises: The mechanistic details of different processes are studied in a number of computer exercises, where the detailed macro molecules and their interactions are analysed

Laboratory work: Cultivation of mammal cells, fluorescence microscopy, immunoprecipitering of protein, gels of the SDS-PAGE and silver staining.

Project: The students work in groups with a chosen current research field within the subject. The results are presented as a posts and a short oral presentation.

Modules: Signal transduction, transcription and translation 4.5 credits; The function of the cell 4.5 credits; Laboratory sessions, seminars and literature projects 6 credits.


The teaching is given in the form of lectures, seminars, computer exercises and laboratory sessions. Participation in seminars and practicals is mandatory. The course is normally taught in English.


The theoretical modules are examined through two written examinations during the course (4.5 credits each).

Laboratory sessions, computer exercises, literature exercises and group seminars are compulsory parts in the course equivalent to 6 credits. The laboratory sessions are presented in the form of reports over the experiments and the results. The literature project is presented in the form of a posts and an oral presentation.