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Cell Signalling

Brief:
Discuss the ways in which signalling molecules can be classified, and an over-view of the classification of cell membrane receptors. Also explain in your introduction how hydrophobic signalling molecules may produce a cellular response. (Approximately 850 words)
You should then describe in detail the signal transduction pathways for a) a G-protein coupled receptor using either glucagon or ADH as an exemplar, and b) a receptor tyrosine kinase pathway using either insulin or epidermal growth factor (EGF) as an exemplar. For each of your chosen signal pathways analyse its importance to the correct functioning of the organism and indicate problems that might result from errors in signalling. You may integrate images into your essay to support your discussion and analysis.

Assignment Title: Cell Signalling – An Essay

Learning Outcomes:
1. Analyse the importance of cell signalling molecules to the organisation and control of cells and organisms.

Rationale:
Signalling molecules help to control all aspects of development and on-going cellular coordination.
Some have localised effects, others circulate throughout the body and affect a number of target organs. This is a complex area of study but some understanding of the molecules and mechanisms involved is essential to understanding the control of the body in health and disease. You will study aspects of cell signalling in 3 other modules you are taking this year – Immunology; Molecular Genetics, Biotechnology and Cancer; Human Physiology – which illustrates the central role of cell signalling in biological systems.

Brief:
Discuss the ways in which signalling molecules can be classified, and an over-view of the classification of cell membrane receptors. Also explain in your introduction how hydrophobic signalling molecules may produce a cellular response. (Approximately 850 words)
You should then describe in detail the signal transduction pathways for a) a G-protein coupled receptor using either glucagon or ADH as an exemplar, and b) a receptor tyrosine kinase pathway using either insulin or epidermal growth factor (EGF) as an exemplar. For each of your chosen signal pathways analyse its importance to the correct functioning of the organism and indicate problems that might result from errors in signalling. You may integrate images into your essay to support your discussion and analysis.

Assessment Criteria:
1. A clear over-view of the classification of signalling molecules and the main types of signalling systems (30%)
2. Clear explanation of transduction in the two named signalling pathways. (35%)
3. Analysis of the importance of the two named signalling pathways to the organisation and control of cells and organisms, including examples of the effects of errors in signalling. (25%)
Identification of relevant texts and illustrations referred to in the report using the Harvard referencing system outlined in the assignment handbook. (10%)

Word count: 2000 words

Format:
All text should be fully justified, size 12 Arial font, with 1.5 line spacing, and normal margins. The report should contain page numbers and a header indicating your name, the module code and the assignment title. You must include a completed assignment submission cover sheet. Reference relevant sources using the appropriate Harvard Referencing system.

Indicative reading:
Campbell, N. and Reece, J.B. (2011) Biology. 9th edn. London: Pearson Education ISBN-13: 978-0321739759
Kreis, T. and Vale, R. (ed) (1999) Guidebook to the Extracellular Matrix, Anchor and Adhesion Proteins. 2nd edn. Oxford. Oxford University Press. ISBN-13: 978-0198599586
Marks,F., Klingmuller, U. and Muller-Decker, K. (2009) Cellular Signal Processing: An Introduction to the Molecular Mechanisms of Signal Transduction. New York. Garland Science ISBN-13: 978-0815342151
Sadava, D., Hills, D.M. and Heller H.C. (2009) Life: The science of Biology. 9th edition. London: W.H. Freeman ISBN-13: 978- 1429219624
Journals
Nature; Cell Biology; Cell; Trends in Cell Biology