Module Identifier BS32420  
Academic Year 2000/2001  
Co-ordinator Dr Paul Kenton  
Semester Semester 2  
Other staff Dr Gareth Griffith, Mark Curtis, Dr Rodney Turner, Dr Ian Scott, Dr Richard Kemp  
Pre-Requisite BS22520 Molecular Biology, BS21920 Understanding Proteins and Enzymes, BS22320 Gamestes, Cells and Animal Development  
Course delivery Lecture   30 Hours  
  Workshop   2 Hours 2 x 3 hours  
Assessment Exam   3 Hours One 3-hour theory paper   70%  
  Exam   3 Hours One 1-hour multiple choice paper    
  Practical exercise   Continuous assessment of practicals/seminars   15%  
  Resit assessment   3 Hours One 3-hour theory paper (plus resubmission of failed coursework or an alternative)   100%  

Aims and objectives
The regulated expression of genes represents the fundamental process underpinning development. This module aims to examine the fundamental molecular processes that control differential gene expression in eukaryotes and to view key developmental processes in the light of these processes.

: The module is split into a number of themes.
Theme 1. Regulation of Gene Expression. Four key areas that determine the assemblage of mature, functioning proteins present within a cell at any given time will be examined. The regulation of transcription by the interaction of inducible transcription factors with both cis-acting elements and the basal transcription machinery will be discussed. This will be followed by an examination of the role of transcript processing in the generation of differential expression and will include material on alternative splicing, trans-splicing, editing, localisation and regulation of transcript stability. Translational regulation is also a key control point in the process of gene expression. Here, regulation of translational activity will be discussed along with aspects such as translational by-passing. Finally, post-translational processing and protein turnover will be examined with refereence to post-translational modification, targetting and degradation.
Theme 2. Developmental Processes. Two developmental processes, programmed cell death and oncogenesis, will be discussed. Programmed Cell Death (PCD) is an important process in development and homeostasis in many eukaryotes. We shall discuss initiation and signalling in PCD, ‘anti-‘ and ‘pro-PCD’ genes, and transcriptional activation of PCD. In Oncogenesis we shall examine the molecular processes behind cancer, examining the relationship between oncogenes and proto-oncogenes, the mechanisms by which human tumour viruses cause cancer and what these processes have revealed about ‘normal’ development.
Theme 3. Plant and Fungal Development. Flower Development provides an excellent example of genetic regulation of development. The ABC model of floral development will be exmined, illustrating competitive determination by homeotic genes of floral tissue specification. In Leaf Development, the genetic mechanisms underlying leaf form and structure will be examined, revealing the underlying genetic basis for the remarkable diversity of leaf forms. In Genetics of Asexual Reproduction in Fungi the way in which a cascade of transcriptional activators regulates aspects of conidiation in Aspergillus nidulans will be examined. The roles of other genes in this aspect of fungal reproduction will also be discussed.
Theme 4. Vertebrate Development. The role of extracellular factors such as growth factors and the regulated expression of Hox genes as determinants of cell fate will be examined in a section dealing with the development of the tetrapod limb. In Development of the Nervous System key processes in the formation and organisation of the vertebrate nervous system will be discussed. There will be a particular focus on the role of gene products in the cell-cell interactions that regulate a number of aspects of neural development such as pattern development. This will serve as an introduction to a more detailed examination, in Tissue Interactions, of the roles played by cell-cell and tissue interactions in processes as diverse as tooth, kidney and lens development. Generation of immunological diversity will discuss the mechanisms by which diversity in B and T cell receptor specificity is generated, as well as the molecular biological aspects of immune cell ontogeny.

There will be an additional lecture, An Introduction to Cell Signalling, given during the first week, which, whilst optional, is recommended for students who have no taken BS22320 in the second year or who are not taking BS33620 in the final year.

Learning outcomes
On completion of the module the student

Reading Lists
** Recommended Text
Gilbert, S.. (1997) developmental Biology. 5th. Sinauer Associates
Howell, S.H.. (1998) Molecular genetics of plant development. Cambridge Univeristy Press
Lodish,H., Berk, A., Zipursky, S.L., Matsudaira, P., Baltimore, D., Darnell, J.,. (2000) Molecular cell biology. 4th. W.H. Freeman & Company