Regulation of gene expression in eukaryotes is essential for development and physiological function in health and disease. The undoubted complexity of multicellular organisms arises from the differential expression of the genetic material, which is essentially the same in all cells. What makes humans different to other mammals is not major difference in gene content, but differences in the expression of homologous genes.
In this module you will initially cover generic features of the transcription machinery, the role of regulatory proteins in controlling gene transcription and the importance of chromatin structure. This will lead into a more detailed analysis of the control of gene transcription and its role in development, health and disease.
You will then cover the mechanisms of post-transcriptional pre-mRNA processing, mRNA degradation and translation. More in depth coverage will discuss the how post-transcriptional processes can be controlled to regulate gene expression. You will also learn about the importance of non-coding RNAs including miRNAs. The biological importance of post-transcriptional control will be illustrated by discussions of topics including gene imprinting, x-chromosome inactivation, nonsense mediated decay.
The course is taught as a series of lectures. In addition your communication skills will be developed in a series of “News & Views” workshops in which you will develop your ability to research, critically evaluate, assimilate and précis information and then produce a written report. Your examination skills will be developed in the in-course test.