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Course Learning Outcomes

Topic 9: Cell cycle and cell death

Describe the basic principle of mitosis (why do cells undergo mitosis?).
Diagram how an exact replica of the genetic material is made, including the numbers of chromosomes present at each phase of mitosis.
Distinguish between chromosome, replicated chromosomes, and sister chromatids.
Propose a reason why cells need to go through a "cell cycle".

Describe how gametes are made, and what kinds of cells they arise from. 
Compare the two phases of meiosis, and justify why the chromosomes separate differently in each phase.
Compare mitosis to meiosis: what are the differences and similarities?
Justify the importance of crossing over.
Predict the possible outcomes of various mistakes in meiosis.

Topic 10-11: Cellular interactions with cells and the environment

List the main functions of the components of the extracellular matrix.

Describe the purpose of the extracellular matrix.

Compare and contrast the structure and function of the main components of the extracellular matrix (collagens, proteoglycans, multiadhesive proteins).

Describe the main components and functions of cell-matrix adhesions

Describe the role of integrin in adhesion and signaling.

Diagram the steps and proteins involved in integrin-mediated mechanical signaling.

Diagram how integrins coordinate ligand binding and actin polymerization.

Compare and contrast the types of cell-cell adhesions (tight junctions, adherens junctions, desmosomes) in terms of their location,their function, the cytoskeletal systems they connect to, and the proteins that comprise them.

Describe how cadherins generate tissue specific interactions between cells.

List different type of cell junctions

Topic 12: Cell signaling

Describe the general mechanism by which chemical signals from outside a cell are transduced across the cell membrane to influence cell behavior and gene expression.  

Describe the types and subtypes of cell-cell signaling found in multicellular organisms, give examples of each, and explain what they are important for.

Compare and contrast the functional classes of cell surface receptors (ion channel-linked, catalytic, G-protein linked) in terms of function, and give examples of each.

Diagram the steps involved in G-protein activation and inactivation.

Predict the effects of mutations to G-protein linked receptors or subunits on G-protein activation and signaling.

Compare and contrast the main types of second messengers in terms of the intracellular proteins they activate and their effector.

Explain how protein kinases and phosphatases change the activity of other proteins to produce the desired cellular response.

Compare and contrast the functions of the MAP kinase signaling pathways

Predict the effects of mutations to the factors involved in cell fate restriction during development.

Given a scenario involving a change to normal cellular development, predict the defect/mutation/change in gene expression that may have occurred to cell patterning.

Compare and contrast apoptosis (regulated, programmed cell death) and necrosis (accidental cell death) and give examples of each.

Topic 13: Cancer

Define the hallmarks of cancer
Describe how cancer begins and how it spreads.
Connect the cell cycle to how cancer initiates.
Apply the principles of genetics to cancer

Define tumor suppressor and concogene giving examples of each

Describe the various roles of p53 (tumor suppressor gene) in preventing cancer.

Explain the sources of DNA changes during cell proliferation (inherited, DNA copying errors, DNA damaging agents).

Provide examples of gain-of-function and loss-of-function mutations, and explain the likelihood of that mutation in developing cancer.

Discuss the mechanisms and pros/cons of the various cancer treatments (surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, cancer gene therapy)