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ONC0251C Cell Signaling, metabolism and introduction to immunology


Cell Signaling, metabolism and introduction to immunology


Academic year 2024/2025

Course ID
Letizia Lanzetti (Lecturer)
Enrico Bracco (Lecturer)
1st year
Teaching period
Related or integrative
Course disciplinary sector (SSD)
BIO/10 - biochemistry
Formal authority
Type of examination
Written and oral (optional)
Type of learning unit
Modular course
Biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology (ONC0251)

Sommario del corso


Course objectives

This module forms an essential component of the Biochemistry, Cellular, and Molecular Biology course, which encompasses various topics including (i) Introduction to Cellular and Molecular Biology, (ii) Cell Signaling, Metabolism, and Immunology, (iii) Modeling and Quantitative Approaches to Life Science, and (iv) Clinical Biochemistry, and Molecular Biology. The primary objective of this course is to equip students with digital skills that can be applied in the healthcare and biomedicine sectors, thereby fulfilling the main objective of the Master's degree. More specifically, the focus of this module is to provide students with a digital perspective on the fundamental building blocks of living organisms.


Results of learning outcomes

By the end of the course, students will possess the knowledge concerning chemical and biological disciplines. They will be familiar with the fundamental biological processes essential to life including the signal transducion cascade, the mechanisms of nutrient uptake and utilization by the major metabolic pathways.They will learn how such pathways are ntegrated and regulated within the cell. Examples will be provided and discussed with the class.Furthermore, they will contextualize the knowledge they've gained within a digital perspective. Finally, students will be able to confidently present their knowledge both verbally and in concise written statements.



Module 3_Cell Signaling, Metabolism, and Introduction to Immunology

  • The mechanisms of cell communication
  • The transmembrane receptors: G-protein coupled receptors, nutrient transporters, receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs)
  • A prototype of RTKs: the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR)
  • The signaling cascade: molecules and modules
  • Membrane trafficking: endocytic pathways (clathrin- and non-clathrin mediated), recycling pathways (fast and slow recycling pathways), multivesicular bodies and lysosomal trafficking, the anterograde pathways (from the endoplasmic reticulum to the Golgi, from the Golgi to the plasma membrane)
  • Basics of sugar and lipid metabolism
  • Cell energy metabolism: mitochondria, Kreb cycle, oxidative phosphorylation
  • Basics of metabolomics
  • Crosstalk between signaling, trafficking, and cell metabolism: membrane trafficking of glucose transporters and the role of insulin; the lysosome, a platform for nutrient sensing; the mTOR signaling pathway, mTOR and AMPK in the control of anabolism and catabolism


Introduction to Immunology

The topics articulated in the lectures aim to cover the following subjects:

-Explain the importance of immunology for human health
-Outline the basic principles of immune responses and the time scale in which they occur
-Define the terms antigen, antibody, B- and T-lymphocyte, primary and secondary immune responses, and innate and acquired immunity
-Outline the role of clonal selection in immune responses
-Understand the role of the physical organization of the immune system in its function


Course delivery

All the lessons wll be done in presence. Explanations on the various topic will be provided to the class using slides as didactic material. The slides will be provided to the class in advance, sot that students will be faclitated in following the lessons and in posing questions. At the end of each lesson, some time will be dedicated to recap te major arguments that have been discussed. Similarly, a rapid recap will be also done at te beginning of the following lessons to set the stage for the lesson helping the students to get into the topic. Registration of the lessons is also provided along with movies of Lectures on key topics done by experts in the field. 


Learning assessment methods

The examination will be done with a written test of 21 multichoise questions.

No marks are subtracted for worng answers.


Suggested readings and bibliography

Last update: 27/05/2024 12:21
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