Some aspects of membrane biophysics. Role of lipid and protein components. Membrane microdomains and lipid-protein interactions.
Structural and functional features of membrane proteins with respect to transmembrane domains and presence of alpha helix and/or beta sheets. Structure-function relationship. Determination of function by means of structural homology analysis. Functional domains: homo- and heteromultimers.
Membrane specializations: t-tubules, neuromuscolar junction
Membrane excitability, the membrane as a RC circuit.
Membrane proteins multifunction. Channel-type behaviour of transport proteins. Protein translocation between cell membrane and cytoplasm in different cellular conditions. Methods used for the characterization of membrane proteins.
Examples of membrane transports mediated by carrier proteins, ionic channels, V-ATPases, P-ATPases, in animal and plant cells will be discussed.
Papers related to the topics described will be analysed.
A short list of review papers will be avilable on the course web-page, together with a selection of papers suitable for the student presentations
Prerequisites and exam evaluation
Students are expected to have basic knowledge of biochemistry, molecular biology and membrane biology.
The exam consists of two parts:
part 1: oral test assessing the topics addressed during first part of the course
part 2: presentation of a scientific paper and discussion of the results in the context of the topics addressed in the course
It is strongly recommended that the students attend lectures.
Language of instruction
Slides from each lecture and scientific articles discusses during lectures will be available as pdf files at the following internet site: http://ariel.unimi.it/User/Default.aspx