10 Credits AUTUMN

Pre-requisites: MBB266, MBB267

Aims/Description: This module provides students with an understanding of the mechanisms by which eukaryotic cells communicate via signal transduction pathways. We will discuss how mammalian cells transfer, and receive, information via pathways involving hormones and growth factors, cell surface or intracellular receptors, second messengers, G-proteins, reversible phosphorylation mechanisms, and transcriptional controls. We explore how biochemical characteristics define the activity and specificity of signalling components, and the consequences of defective signalling pathways, for example, how oncogene derived proteins lead to cancers. Examples considered in detail may include: the regulation of cell proliferation by epidermal growth factors, and in plants by auxin; stimulation of muscle contraction or relaxation by a range of signals; control of multiple pathways by adrenaline and cyclic AMP signalling during the fight-or-flight response; the role of membrane derived inositol phosphates in triggering in calcium signals and cell survival; and design of anticancer drugs.

Staff Contact: GRAY JULIE E
Teaching Methods: Lectures, Independent Study
Assessment: Formal Exam
WebCT resources are available for this module

Information on the department responsible for this unit (Molecular Biology and Biotechnology):

Departmental Home Page
Teaching timetable


The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

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Teaching methods and assessment displayed on this page are indicative for 2021-22. Students will be informed by the academic department of any changes made necessary by the ongoing pandemic.

Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK