The Inner Workings of Cells, Winter 2008

By Ken Kaplan

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Cellular function lies at the root of all complex and simple biological systems. This course will expose you to the fundamental mechanisms that allow cells to maintain the system of proteins and biomolecules required for them to replicate with high fidelity, to maintain stable functional states, to differentiate in response to external cues and to ultimately form complex organizations of cells (i.e., tissues). We will apply an experimental approach to a classic problem in cell biology. We will master “blackboard” experimental techniques to allow us to explore the remarkable transformation of a monolayer of cells after being “wounded.” Under such conditions, cells surrounding the wound change their organization and programming in order to migrate, divide, and differentiate to fill in the wound.

Episode Date
Class Overview
Lecture 01: Kaplan discusses class mechanics, student questions and the central questions of cell biology.
Jan 07, 2008
Goals of Cell Biology
Lecture 02: Goals of cell biologists and the overall course plan are discussed and students introduced to the question of how to study cells.
Jan 09, 2008
Lecture 03: This class reviews what characteristics a gene needs to be "necessary and sufficient." A discussion of antibodies and their application to various techniques of cell biologists.
Jan 11, 2008
Subcellular Fractionation
Lecture 04: How to use subcellular fractionation and other techniques to study complex cellular processes and molecules.
Jan 14, 2008
Cell Membranes
Lecture 05: This class wraps up of tools to study complex cellular behavior (including microscopy), and introduces membrane proteins.
Jan 16, 2008
Membrane Reactions
Lecture 06: This is a continued discussion of cellular membranes and their various functions in biochemical reactions.
Jan 18, 2008
Membrane Proteins
Lecture 07: Kaplan discusses the various classes of membrane proteins and movement of molecules across the membrane.
Jan 23, 2008
Secretory Pathway
Lecture 08: Kaplan talks about how various proteins are directed to certain areas within the cell and to the plasma membrane.
Jan 25, 2008
Protein Movement
Lecture 09: Kaplan discusses the secretory pathway, with emphasis on protein targeting and translocation.
Jan 28, 2008
Protein Movement
Lecture 10: In this continued discussion on protein translocation, Kaplan gives emphasis to glycosylation and the Scavenger pathway.
Jan 30, 2008
ER Reactions
Lecture 11: Kaplan reviews glycosylation and gives an in-depth look at the work done to understand protein translocation and examples of protein trafficking.
Feb 01, 2008
Vesicular Transport
Lecture 12: Kaplan gives an in-depth discussion of in-vitro coupled translation and translocation.
Feb 04, 2008
Review of Protein Trafficking
Lecture 14: The professor wraps up protein trafficking and non-secretory transport.
Feb 08, 2008
Review for Midterm 1
Review for Midterm 1: This class covers cell biology techniques, cell compartmentalization, cell membranes, the secretory pathway and protein trafficking.
Feb 10, 2008
Cell Movement
Lecture 15: Kaplan discusses how cytoskeletal elements of a cell are involved in cell movement, such as actin.
Feb 13, 2008
Filament Dynamics
Lecture 16: Kaplan continues talking about actin, how it can lead to cell motility, as well as how it and other filament dynamics are regulated within the cell.
Feb 15, 2008
Intermediate Filaments
Lecture 17: This class covers actin polymerization, and an introduction to other parts of the cytoskeleton, such as the intermediate filaments.
Feb 20, 2008
Intermediate Filaments
Lecture 18: In a continued discussion of intermediate filaments, Kaplan talks about their relation to other cytoskeletal filaments and microtubule dynamics.
Feb 22, 2008
Lecture 19: In this class, microtubule dynamics and stability and how these aspects of microtubules are controlled to produce energy and force for processes such as mitosis.
Feb 25, 2008
Microtubles and Cell Motility
Lecture 20: Kaplan wraps up of the cytoskeleton, relation of microtubles to cell motility, introduction to cell division.
Feb 27, 2008
Cell Division
Lecture 21: The stages of the cell cycle, the regulatory cycle, and biochemical switches involved in these two cycles are covered.
Feb 29, 2008
Regulation of Cell Division
Lecture 22: This is a continued discussion of the regulation of cell division -- how mitosis is coordinated within the cell.
Mar 03, 2008
Review for Midterm 2
Review for Midterm 2: This covers protein trafficking, the cytoskeleton and cell division.
Mar 04, 2008
Cell Division
Lecture 24: Students learn more about cell division, and introduction to cell checkpoints along the regulatory cycle.
Mar 07, 2008
Cell Signaling
Lecture 25: This class is a wrap-up of cell division and checkpoints in the regulatory cycle, and introduction to how cells interpret various biochemical signals.
Mar 10, 2008
Signal Transduction
Lecture 26: Kaplan talks about properties of signaling modules and different kinds of membrane receptors that interpret signals from outside the cell.
Mar 12, 2008
Signal Transduction
Lecture 27: Kaplan continues his discussion of signal transduction, the role of signals in cell migration, and the ability of cells to see which direction to move.
Mar 14, 2008
Cell Signaling & Cancer Cells
Lecture 28: The instructor reviews some major pathways dealing with signal transduction and an application of principles learned to cancerous cells.
Mar 17, 2008
Review for Final Exam
Review for Final Exam: This class covers all topics discussed in the course, with an emphasis on cell signaling.
Mar 21, 2008