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, 15 April 2010
Responsible department
Biology Education Centre

Entry requirements

150 credits completed courses including alternative 1) 60 credits biology and 30 credits chemistry alternative 2) chemistry 60 credits including biochemistry 15 credits and biology 30 credits including molecular genetics 15 credits and cell biology 15 credits.

Learning outcomes

The aim of the course is to provide the students with advanced knowledge and understanding of molecular processes in cells and organisms.

After the course, students will be able to

  • Explain the principles and the structural and mechanistic details of 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 interacting systems
  • Account for certain key experiments within the subject area
  • Analyse experimental data, and from the data, draw conclusions and formulate scientific hypotheses
  • Critically review chosen subjects within current research in the subject area and present analyses in the form of an oral presentation and a poster
  • Use certain important laboratory techniques within the subject area (mammalian cell culture, light optical microscopy and gel electrophoresis)
  • Analyse structural details in proteins and protein complexes by using molecular graphics program.


The course consists of the following parts

Signal transduction: The principles of cell-to-cell communication via chemical signalling; signal molecules and receptors, components in intracellular signal pathways and their functions

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

Adhesion: Macromolecules in the extracellular matrix and the cellular adhesions proteins as well as their interactions; different types of adhesion complexes

The cell cycle: Regulation and mechanisms for cell replication in eukaryotes; the molecular mechanisms important for the development of cancer

Transcription: Roles of general and specific transcription factors in the initiation of transcription, protein-DNA interaction, and mRNA processing

Translation and protein targeting: Mechanisms of regulation of the translation initiation, mechanisms of peptide synthesis and control of the accuracy of protein synthesis, protein processing and quality control in the endoplasmic reticulum, vesicle-mediated protein transport

Computer exercises: The mechanistic details of different processes are studied in a number of computer exercises where the relevant macromolecules and their interactions are analysed

Laboratory sessions: Cultivation of mammalian cells, fluorescence microscopy, SDS-PAGE and silver staining.

Literature projects: The students work in groups with a chosen current research topic within the subject. The results are presented as a poster and a short oral presentation.


The teaching is given in the form of lectures, seminars, computer exercises, laboratory sessions and literature projects. Participation in seminars, computer exercises, laboratory sessions and literature projects is compulsory. Integrated communication training with feedback and self evaluation occurs during the course.


Modules: Signal transduction, transcription and translation 5 credits; The cell cycle, cytoskeleton and cell adhesion 5 credits; Laboratory sessions, seminars and literature project 5 credits

The module signal transduction, transcription and translation is examined with a written examination. The module the cell cycle, cytoskeleton and cell adhesion is examined with a written examination. The laboratory sessions are presented in the form of laboratory reports. The seminars require active participation and oral presentations. The literature project is presented as a poster and an oral presentation.