The first part of the course provides a detailed overview of the molecular mechanisms of cell cycle control. The second part will focus on the structure of the genome and the molecular mechanisms that regulate genome stability and avoid cancer onset and progression. Human diseases resulting from defects in the mechanisms of cell cycle control and in processes responsible for maintaining the integrity of the genome will be taken into consideration.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course, students will acquire knowledge about the following topics: · Cell cycle progression and its control; · Mitosis and meiosis; · Genome stability maintenance; · Tumor onset and progression; He/She will also be able to place this knowledge in the broader context of diseases characterized by genomic instability, first of all cancer and numerous hereditary syndromes with a high incidence of tumors and neuro degeneration.
Lesson period: Second semester
(In case of multiple editions, please check the period, as it may vary)
The eukaryotic Cell Cycle: - Model organisms in the cell cycle analysis; - The cell cycle control systems; - The control of S phase; - Early mitosis: preparing the chromosomes to segregation; - Assembly of the mitotic spindle; - The completion of mitosis and the cytokinesis; - The control of meiosis; - Control of cell proliferation and growth; - The checkpoints of the cell cycle in physiological and pathological growth conditions; - Alterations of cell cycle in cancer and other human diseases.
The maintenance of genome stability: - The eukaryotic chromosomes: structure and organization, centromeres and telomeres; - Alteration of the structure and number of chromosomes; - Different types of DNA damages; - Essential molecular mechanisms that preserve the correct structure of chromosomes; - A plethora of DNA repair pathways; - DNA damage checkpoints that control genomic stability; - Human disorders whose cause is a defect in the response to or repair of DNA damage; - Molecular mechanisms responsible for the development of the immune system; - The molecular pathways involved in the maintenance of genomic stability as targets of therapeutic treatments
Prerequisites for admission
Good knowledge of Genetics and Molecular Biology is strongly suggested.
Front lectures supported by projected slides. The students will be encouraged to actively participate in the discussion to improve their critical skills.
Tak W. Mak, Mary Saunders "Fondamenti di immunologia", 2017 D.O. Morgan. "The Cell Cycle: principles of control". New Science Press, 2007. F. Amaldi, P. Benedetti, G. Pesole, P. Plevani, "Biologia Molecolare" Casa Editrice Ambrosiana. J.D. Watson, T.A Baker, S.P. Bell, A. Gann, M. Levine and R. Losick "Molecular Biology of the Gene" Friedberg, E. C., Walker, G. C., Siede, W., Wood, R. D., Schultz, R. A. & Ellenberger, T. (2005) DNA repair and mutagenesis (ASM Press). Research and review articles concerning the topics dealt with during lectures will be suggested.
Assessment methods and Criteria
Written examination (4 open questions, duration 1h and 20 min); students who regularly attend classes can take the exam by passing one written test in progress at the end of the first half of the program and one at the end of the course. Both tests will have an identical structure to that indicated for the general exam and the final grade will be the average of the marks obtained in the two tests. Assessment parameters: the student's knowledge, their logic and reasoning skills will be assessed. Method of communicating the results: following official reporting of the results, the students will receive an e-mail from the system in which they will be informed of their mark which they can accept or reject.