2 x 1-hour tutorials per semester
1 x 2-hour workshop weekly
2 x 3-hour practicals per semester
4 x 6-hour practical-1s per semester
2 x 3-hour computer labs per semester
3 x 1-hour on-line lectures weekly
1 Admission into GDPBT-Graduate Diploma in Biotechnology
1a Admission into MNT-Master of Nanotechnology
1b Admission into MBTL-Master of Biotechnology
1c Admission into MFS-Master of Forensic Science
1d Admission into MSCB-Master of Science (Biology)
Must Satisfy: ((1 or 1a or 1b or 1c or 1d))
Enrolment not permitted
1 of BIOL3762, BIOL9005 has been successfully completed
Assumed knowledge
Second year undergraduate level molecular biology and biochemistry.
Topic description
In this topic students will learn about the functions of cellular proteins and contemporary approaches that are used for the study and characterisation of proteins. Students will review the process of protein translation, and then examine the post-translational events that affect the structure, function and cellular location of proteins. Traditional techniques for the study of proteins such as protein purification, electrophoresis, Western-blotting and enzyme kinetics will be contrasted with more contemporary techniques such as mass spectrometry techniques for identification of entire proteomes and computer based approaches for evaluating protein structure and function. Students will also have the opportunity to apply their knowledge in practical laboratory exercises.
Educational aims
The aims of this topic are:

  1. To give students an understanding of the processes that regulate and control the function of cellular proteins with a particular emphasis on how protein structure relates to function
  2. To familiarise students with both experimental and bioinformatic techniques that are used to identify and characterise both individual proteins and entire proteomes
  3. To further develop students¿ scientific skills for work in a molecular biology laboratory
  4. To further develop students¿ generic skills in the areas of accurate record keeping (attention to detail), creativity and problem-solving, independence and teamwork, good written and oral communication, and critical thinking
Expected learning outcomes
At the completion of the topic, students are expected to be able to:

  1. Demonstrate and apply knowledge about biochemistry, protein biology, cell

    biology and proteomics including the following:

  2. The principles involved in trafficking proteins to different cellular locations
  3. The many different types of post-translational modifications and their functional implications
  4. How and why proteins form complex signal transduction pathways
  5. How protein structures are experimentally determined and analysed
  6. How to design a protein purification protocol
  7. How to calculate kinetic parameters such as Km, Ki and turnover number
  8. The tools used for characterisation of a protein such as poly-acrylamide gel electrophoresis, western blotting, estimation of protein concentration and enzyme activity assays
  9. The fundamentals of proteome analysis of tissues or cells, and how this technique can play a role in the investigation of the molecular basis of disease
  10. The use of bioinformatic tools used in the analysis and prediction of protein sequences structures and interactions
  • Work in a biochemistry laboratory to professional standards including skills such as:

    1. Maintenance of a laboratory notebook
    2. Preparation of solutions and use of laboratory equipment
    3. Design and execution of a protein purification protocol
    4. Development of a laboratory protocol from an article published in a scientific journal
    5. Presentation of data in tables and graphs in the format used in articles published in scientific journals

  • Display competency in the generic professional skills essential for the protein-based biosciences such as how to:

    1. Present data in tables and graphs
    2. Use Microsoft Office Excel to perform calculations and prepare graphs
    3. Work independently and also in a team
    4. Solve problems by applying existing knowledge to new situations
    5. Communicate in writing
    6. Read and interpret scientific literature