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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Biological Sciences : Biochemistry

Undergraduate Course: Structural Biology (BICH10007)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Biological Sciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryStructural biology illuminates how biological molecules and macromolecular complexes are able to carry out their functions: in other words, it allows us to find out how biological machines actually work at a molecular level. The aim of this course is to enrich your understanding of structural molecular biology by considering 'the life-cycle of a protein'.
Course description We begin by recapping and building on knowledge gained in SFP3: the first two sessions will incorporate clicker-based revision sessions on protein and nucleic acid structures.

The lecture programme begins in the DNA world, where we consider protein evolution, domain conservation and how DNA is metabolised (i.e. moved, repaired and replicated). After DNA is transcribed and translated, we consider how nascent protein sequences are folded. We will also look at the roles of natively unstructured proteins.

In the protein world information is transmitted by interactions between molecules. In this context we will consider the protein-protein interactions underpinning accurate control of cell division, as well as protein-carbohydrate interactions involved in disease, and the exploitation of these in drug discovery. Finally we will consider how post-translational modifications of proteins can be detected and how they can enhance or alter a protein's function.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Structures and Functions of Proteins 3 (BILG09015)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 27, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 71 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 100 %, Coursework 0 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Feedback Formative feedback from in-course quizzes
Written general feedback on whole class exam performance
Script review session
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand the evolution of protein structural motifs and domains and associate this with function;
  2. Use on-line structural databases and tools to predict the properties, structure and function of proteins.
  3. Understand and explain enzyme mechanisms in a structural context.
  4. Describe mechanisms of protein folding and the roles of natively unstructured proteins in biology.
  5. Understand how cross-talk between proteins and post-translational protein modifications (e.g. phosphorylation, ubiquitination) facilitate information processing in cells.
Reading List
Molecular Biology of Assemblies and Machines by Steven, Baumeister, Johnson and Perham (Garland Science, available in the Murray Library)
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Knowledge and understanding of structural molecular biology
Data interpretation and problem solving skills
Computational skills (for bioinformatics and structural analyses)
Synthesis of information
Additional Class Delivery Information 14 Lectures
2 Revision sessions
1 Structural workshop
KeywordsMolecular structure,Molecular machines,proteins,DNA metabolism,molecular mechanism,Pymol analysis
Course organiserDr Raquel Arribas
Course secretaryMs Louise Robertson
Tel: (0131 6)50 5988
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