|Module Title||GENE EXPRESSION AND DEVELOPMENTAL GENETICS|
|Co-ordinator||Dr Paul Kenton|
|Other staff||Dr Gareth W Griffith, Dr Ian M Scott, Dr I S Donnison|
|Course delivery||Lecture||28 Hours 28 x 1 hour lectures|
|Other||3 Hours 1 x 3 hour workshop|
|Other||9 Hours 3 x 3 hour revision workshops|
|Other||2 Hours 2 x 1 hour poster sessions|
Part One This section begins with a single lecture outlining the basics of signal transduction. In multicellular organism, developmental pathways are often regulated by perception of chemical cues from other cells. Thus, a basic knowledge of these processes is critical to understanding the induction of gene expression. This is followed by an examination of the role of inducible transcription factors in the regulation of gene transcription. Here we shall discuss how, in response to the activation of signalling pathways, combinations of transcription factors can either up- or down-regulate transcription of target genes. The RNA resulting from transcription represents the unprocessed transcript. In eukaryotes the vast majority of these transcripts undergo processing in which they are capped, spliced, degraded or localised. Following processing, mRNA is translated. Translation too is subject to differential regulation. The overall rate of translation can be altered, and translation of individual mRNA species can be blocked. In addition, various forms of `recoding? can occur. The newly-formed polypeptide is also subject to a variety of post-translational modifications, e.g. targeting and degradation.
Poster Sessions At this point we shall take a short break from formal lectures. Split into small groups, students will prepare and present a poster on a given topic. The posters will be marked by the class and the marks will contribute 15% of the final module marks.
Part Two The second section begins with a single lecture introducing the idea of differential gene expression as a driving force of development by considering Drosophila. This will be followed by sections considering developmental processes in plants, fungi and vertebrates. The ABC model of floral development is a classical example of the way in which a small set of genes can have a profound effect on the development of complex structures. This can also be seen in the development of the leaf, where asymmetry and compounding are regulated by a number of key genes. A cascade of genes regulates conidiation in Aspergillus nidulans; this and other aspects will be discussed in the genetics of asexual reproduction. In vertebrate development, the `major players? involved in the development of most tissues will be introduced in tissue interactions. Here, examples of the way in which the `developmental toolkit? interacts to pattern tissues will be considered. This will lead us into a more in-depth consideration of limb development, selected as a topic because it illustrates many of the processes considered earlier. Neural development builds on this platform, but also introduces the importance of cell migration and differential adhesion in tissue formation. Finally, we shall consider the molecular biology of cancer as an example of what happens when differential gene expression becomes de-regulated.
This module is at CQFW Level 6