Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Protein Synthesis

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					Course Description - Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Protein Synthesis
Aims
A number of biological situations are controlled at the “post-transcriptional” level and much of
this through the regulation of translation, either globally or for specific mRNAs. This course will
provide the basic mechanistic description of protein synthesis and several examples of how
protein synthesis may be regulated in global, specific or auto-regulatory manner.

Contents
The introductory lectures will present information on the components of translation (aminoacyl-
tRNAs, mRNAs, ribosomes) and the protein factors that facilitate their use. Important
differences between eukaryotes and prokaryotes will be stressed. The papers chosen by Dr.
Merrick will illustrate specific methods used in the study of protein synthesis, the concept of
controls, both positive and negative, and model interpretations based upon the results presented.
The papers chosen by the students will provide the student with the opportunity to present to the
class their interpretation of why a particular series of experiments was performed, what were the
methods and whether the authors conclusions are valid.

Prerequisites
A course in general biochemistry, which would include simple enzyme kinetics, and general
molecular biology (DNA makes RNA makes protein).

Types of teaching
14 hours of lecture by Dr. Merrick, 5 hours on how to read the literature by Dr. Merrick,
approximately 10-12 hours of presentation by the students (see the lesson plan). Students will
present a current literature paper of their choice, but in the field of translation. At the time of the
presentation, the students should turn in to Dr. Merrick a three-page paper on what the next series
of experiments should be to extend this research. Subsequently, Dr. Merrick will provide
individual feedback to the students.


Compulsory Program
Presentation of research papers by Dr. Merrick and the students.

Lecturer
Dr. William Merrick
Department of Biochemistry
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland, Ohio 44106 USA
Email – wcm2@case.edu

Teaching materials
Reviews, research papers, handouts comprising diagrams (about 24), and home work problems
(about 5 pages).
Supplementary material: Biochemistry, 6th edition (2006) J.M. Berg, J. L. Tymoczko and L.
Stryer. W.H. Freeman and Company ISBN: 0-7167-8724-5


Evaluation
Passed/failed based on participation and performance during classes, presentation of the research
article and the quality of a written three-page report on the research paper.

Credits
5 ECTS

Language
Instruction and research materials will be in English.

Capacity limit: 25

Quarter
Weeks 31-35 2010
Feedback to the term paper will be given in week 36.

Schedule
3 x 2 hours per week. Tentatively scheduled on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Course type
Graduate course

Provider
Department of Molecular Biology

Learning objectives
At the end of the course, the student will be able to examine examples of post-translational
control in either eukaryotic or prokaryotic organisms and design experimental protocols to
determine the mechanisms used to affect control of expression.

Contact person
Associate professor Charlotte R. Knudsen, Department of Molecular Biology, crk@mb.au.dk,
with whom interested students can sign up for the course by sending an email.

See Lesson Plan next page
Lesson Plan for the graduate course "Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Protein Synthesis"

Each numbered session is for 1 hour.

   1. Introduction to protein synthesis
   2. Amino acid activation and the genetic code
   3. Components of translation
   4. Initiation of protein synthesis – Prokaryotes
   5. Elongation and termination of protein synthesis
   6. Initiation of Protein Synthesis – Eukaryotes
   7. Control of protein synthesis – Prokaryotes 1
   8. Control of protein synthesis – Prokaryotes 2
   9. Control of protein synthesis – Eukaryotes 1
   10. Control of protein synthesis - Eukaryotes 2
   11. Viral affects on protein synthesis
   12. Secreted proteins
   13. Mitochondrial and Chloroplastic protein synthesis
   14. Selenocysteine and Pyrrolysine, the 21st and 22nd amino acids

   15. Introduction to the literature
   16. Papers presented by Dr. Merrick – 1
   17. Papers presented by Dr. Merrick – 2
   18. Papers presented by Dr. Merrick – 3
   19. Papers presented by Dr. Merrick – 4
   20. Papers presented by the students

Depending on the number of students, students will prepare the presentations of papers alone or
in pairs of 2. It is anticipated that the students will present for about 10-12 sessions.

Students will present a current literature paper of their choice, but in the field of translation. At
the time of the presentation, the students should turn in to Dr. Merrick a three-page paper on what
the next series of experiments should be to extend this research. The first page should clearly
report the findings of the literature article and the next two pages should describe the student’s
proposed experimentation. Subsequently, Dr. Merrick will provide individual feedback to the
students.


See description of William C. Merrick on the next page:
During August 2010, Professor William C. Merrick from the Department of Biochemistry at
Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, is visiting The Department of Molecular
Biology to give the graduate course "Prokaryotic and eukaryotic protein synthesis". The course
deals with the components of translation with special emphasis on their participation in the
regulation of protein biosynthesis. A description of the course can be found at
http://www.mb.au.dk/da/til/global/stud/phd.htm.

Apart from the specific subject of translation, the course offers the opportunity for the student to
learn how to read, understand and evaluate original scientific papers.

Professor Merrick is renowned as a teacher due to his excellent communication skills, deep
engagement and friendly attitude towards the students. The focus of Professor Merrick's research
is on the identification of eukaryotic translation initiation factors and the determination of their
(regulatory) roles in the initiation pathway.

Read more at http://www.case.edu/med/biochemistry/faculty/merrick.html.

Questions regarding the course can be forwarded to Associate Professor Charlotte R. Knudsen at
crk@mb.au.dk with whom interested students can also sign up for participation in the course.

				
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