Industrial pharmacy
Study-unit Code
In all curricula
Maria Laura Belladonna
  • Maria Laura Belladonna
  • 48 ore - Maria Laura Belladonna
Course Regulation
Coorte 2023
Learning activities
Discipline biologiche
Academic discipline
Type of study-unit
Obbligatorio (Required)
Type of learning activities
Attività formativa monodisciplinare
Language of instruction
Cell organization of living organisms. Chemical components of the cell. Prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. The eukaryotic cell components (cell membrane, mitochondria, chloroplasts, endomembrane system, cytoskeleton, and nucleus) and their functions. Cell communication: membrane receptors and signal transduction. Cell adhesion mechanisms. DNA replication and cell cycle. Asexual and sexual reproduction. Transcription and protein synthesis. Regulation of gene expression. Tumor cells. Principles of general and human genetics. Plant classification. Plant cell. Tissue systems, organography and biological cycles of plants. Photosynthesis and plant metabolism.
Reference texts
"Becker - Il mondo della cellula" J. Harding, G. Bertoni - Ed. Pearson - 10th edition
"Biologia. Con e-book. Vol. 4: La biologia delle piante" – ISBN-13: 9788808251473 di D. Sadava, D.M. Hillis. Ed. Zanichelli, 2019
Educational objectives
The main objective of the module is the integrated study of an animal or plant cell, with particular regard to mechanisms involved in the biogenesis of organelles and cell structures, of cell-cell and cell-environment interactions, bioenergetics, and transmission of genetic information. Students should acquire the ability to connect different cellular processes and apply the acquired knowledge to understand the following teachings.
To effectively follow and understand the topics covered in the course of Animal and Plant Biology is necessary for the student to have a basic knowledge of chemistry as it is normally acquired in high school. Furthermore, following in the meantime the teaching of General and Inorganic Chemistry will be of great help.
Teaching methods
Face-to-face lessons with PowerPoint presentations. A pdf copy of each presentation will be available for the students on Unistudium Learning Platform.
Other information
The teacher receives students by appointment to be requested by e-mail.
For information on support services for students with disabilities and/or Specific Learning Disorders visit the page http://www.unipg.it/disabilita-e-dsa
Learning verification modality
The exam consists of a written and an oral exam. The written exam is a multiple-choice test on all the topics covered in the course, lasting 60 minutes. The written exam aims to verify the basic level of knowledge necessary to access oral examination. The oral examination lasts no longer than 30 minutes and enables to verification of the level of knowledge and understanding achieved by the student, and the ability of the student to highlight the correlations between the various biological processes. In addition, the oral examination will assess the student's ability to communicate and expose with appropriate language the topics of cell biology. The exam will be performed at the end of the course according to the exam timetable. The evaluation will be in thirtieths (minimum: 18/30; maximum: 30/30 cum laude).
Students with DSA will be allowed to divide the exam program into two parts to be agreed with the teacher and take the exam for the two parts on separate but consecutive dates.
Extended program
Cellular organization of living organisms. Chemical components of the cell: water and macromolecules (proteins, nucleic acids, polysaccharides, and lipids). Prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells; viruses.
Principles of bioenergetics. Enzymes: structure and function, enzymatic catalysis, regulation of enzymatic activity.
Plasma membrane: structure and function. Integral, peripheral, and lipid-anchored proteins. Lipids and membrane fluidity, membrane asymmetry. Membrane carbohydrates. Importance of the glycocalyx. Dynamic nature of the membrane: mobility of lipids and proteins. Movement of substances across the membrane: osmosis, simple diffusion, facilitated diffusion, active transport.
Mitochondria: structure and function. Mitochondrial membranes and matrix. Chemotrophic energy metabolism (glycolysis, cellular respiration, and ATP synthesis).
Endomembrane system. Structure and function of rough endoplasmic reticulum, smooth endoplasmic reticulum, and Golgi complex. Types of vesicles and types of vesicular transport. Targeting of vesicles to a particular compartment. Lysosomes: structure and function; heterophagy and autophagy. Endocytic pathway: generalized endocytosis. Receptor-mediated endocytosis. Phagocytosis.
Peroxisomes: structure and function.
Cytoskeleton and cell motility: structure and function of microtubules, kinesin and dynein, microtubule dynamism; microfilaments, muscle contraction; intermediate filaments.
Cell wall and extracellular matrix: structure and function. Role of the extracellular matrix in the interaction between cells and the extracellular environment. Interaction of cells with other cells.
Nucleus: structure and function. Nuclear envelope, pore complex, nucleolus, chromatin, and chromosomes. DNA replication. DNA damage and repair mechanisms. Genes and the genome of prokaryotes and eukaryotes. The directional flow of genetic information.
Gene expression: genetic code, transcription, maturation of primary transcripts, messenger RNA, transfer RNA, ribosomal RNA, ribosomes, translation of gene information, protein synthesis, mutations and translation, post-translational maturation, modifications of newly synthesized proteins in the lumen of rough endoplasmic reticulum, glycosylation, protein trafficking, secretory and cytoplasmic pathways, quality control, proteasome-mediated degradation.
Regulation of gene expression in eukaryotes at the gene, transcriptional, post-transcriptional (siRNA and miRNA), translational (miRNA), and post-translational (proteasome and functional modifications) levels.
The biological role of cellular communication and characteristics of signaling systems. Types of signals (autocrine, paracrine, endocrine, neuronal). Electrical signals (membrane potential, electrical excitability, and action potential), and chemical signals (ionotropic, metabotropic, and intracellular receptors). Examples of signal transduction of ion channel receptors, G protein-coupled receptors, and receptors with enzymatic activity. G protein-coupled receptors: structure, G protein families, activation and deactivation cycle, G protein-coupled effectors (adenylate cyclase, phospholipase), glucose mobilization, second messengers and signal amplification, receptor desensitization. Receptors with enzymatic activity: tyrosine kinase receptors (signal activation and transduction), the Ras-MAP-kinase pathway, and insulin receptor signaling. Convergence, divergence, and cross-dialogue between the different signaling routes.
Cell cycle (interphase, DNA duplication, mitosis) and its control (role of cyclin-dependent kinases). Mechanisms of cell death: apoptosis and necrosis.
Neoplastic transformation: characteristics of the neoplastic cell, molecular basis of cancer, tumor etiology, cancer genetics (proto-oncogenes, oncogenes, tumor suppressors).
Reproduction of multicellular organisms: meiosis, genetic variability, gametogenesis, and fertilization. Karyotype. Genetic, chromosomal, and genomic mutations.
Principles of general genetics: genotype and phenotype, haploidy and diploidy, dominance and recessiveness, homozygosity and heterozygosity, gene locus, allele; Mendel's laws; extensions of Mendelian analysis (incomplete dominance, codominance, multiple alleles). Elements of human genetics: normal and pathological human karyotype; aneuploidies; X and Y chromosomes; Barr's body; Mendelian inheritance in humans (family trees, autosomal dominant and recessive inheritance, AB0 blood group system, dominant and recessive X-linked inheritance, Y-linked inheritance).
Autotrophic and heterotrophic organisms. Fundamentals of plant systematics. The elective structures of the plant cell (vacuole, plastids, wall) and their biological function. Tissue systems of plants (tegumental, fundamental, and vascular) and their functions (absorption and transport of water, minerals, and nutrients, transpiration, translocation in the phloem). Meristems and primary and secondary growth. Organography of stem, leaf, flower, fruit, and seed. Notes on the biological cycles of angiosperms. Phototrophic energy metabolism: photosynthesis (photosystems, light-dependent and light-independent phases, Calvin cycle, the C4 cycle, the CAM pathway). The plant cell is a laboratory for the production of compounds with biological activity (notes on primary and secondary metabolism).
Obiettivi Agenda 2030 per lo sviluppo sostenibile
Health and wellness; life on earth.
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