Cell Biology B


The fundamental objective of this UC is the acquisition of knowledge regarding the structure of the eukaryotic cell, and the function of the main organelles, as well as the form of cell-extracellular and cell-cell communication.

It is expected that by the end of this course students will have achieved the following general competences: i) understand the functional organization of the eukaryotic cell; ii) characterization of p.v. structural and functional the main cellular organelles; iii) expose the mechanisms involved in cell-extracellular medium communication; iv) identify cellular mechanisms involved in cell-cell communication.

Finally, the student is expected to acquire research skills of recent literature on topics taught and be able to make an exposition and critical discussion of topics taught in lectures.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Margarida Casal Ribeiro Castro Caldas Braga


Weekly - 3

Total - 27

Teaching language





Molecular Cell Biology

Lodish H, Berk A, Kaiser CA, Krieger M, Bretscher A, Ploegh H, Amon A, Scott MP

7th Ed. WH Freeman & Company, NY, 2012


. Molecular Biology of the Cell

Alberts B, Johnson A, Lewis J, Raff M, Roberts K, Walter P

5th Ed. Garland Science, NY, 2007


. The World of the Cell

Hardin J, Bertoni GP, Kleinsmith LJ, ,

8th Ed. Benjamin Cummings Publ. Co., 2010


. The Cell. A molecular Approach

Cooper GM, Hausman RE

5th Ed. Sinauer Associates Inc., 2009


. Artigos científicos seleccionados

Disponibilizados pela docente na página MOODLE da disciplina

Teaching method

Theoretical lectures.

TP classes for exercises and problems and group work.

Evaluation method

A) Frequency in the discipline:

1. Students must attend at least 2/3 of the theoretical and practical classes taught (maximum 2 absences). Attendance at TP classes is recorded by the teacher.

2. Absences are scheduled 10 minutes after the start of TP classes, however the student may choose to attend the class.

3. Two unjustified absence delays become a lack of effective attendance, however the student may choose to attend the class.

4. Certificates and other valid justifications for absences will only be accepted if delivered to class of the week immediately after the day of absence.

5. Student workers, and other exceptional cases, who do not attend theoretical-practical classes should carry out an assessment (to be agreed with the teacher) to obtain attendance to the discipline.

 Students who do not attend the course cannot present themselves to an exam, nor will they have a valid grade in the theoretical / theoretical-practical, continuous and summative assessment components.

 B) Evaluation in the discipline

 B.1) Evaluation Rules

The final grade of the course (scale from 0 to 20) results from the sum of the grades of the 2 components of the evaluation:

 i) Evaluation of the theoretical / theoretical-practical component (85% = 17 points). One written test, for individual assessment of knowledge of theoretical and practical classes contents. The date of the test is disclosed at the beginning of the classes, and marked in CLIP, and there is no alternative date (s), nor repetition of the tests.

Alternatively, students may pass the course by taking a final exam ("Recurso").

Passing requires at least 8.5 out of 17 out of 17 (50%) on the  test score (rounded to the tenths), or on the Recurso exam score.

 ii) Continuous assessment (theoretical-practical) (15% = 3 points). Answer, in group, to an open-ended developmental question in all theoretical-practical classes. The last 30 min of each class will be devoted to solving a proposed problem according to the required rules. The answer must be uploaded to the appropriate location in moodle. The possibility of response will only be allowed in a short time (corresponding to the time available in the classroom). Questions will only be known during class. Students must work in groups and submit as a group. The student who submits the answer is responsible for giving knowledge and agreement with the other colleagues.

The answer depends on a search of literature data (scientific articles) and sites of recognized value; textbooks are also allowed in class for consultation.

There will be a brief discussion of these questions / answers in the next practical class.

 Of the 6 questions asked for evaluation, only two answers will be corrected, each worth 1.5 points. It is the students who choose which answers they want corrected. The choice is not individual but group. For this, at the end of the semester each group should inform the teacher by e-mail which answers are chosen. This email should contain the following information:

. Group No.

. Answers you want to see rated

. Email must follow cc from all group members

 In case a group misses a TP class, they will have to choose from the answers they gave.

Failure to send the above email will correct the first 2 replies.

In case of a justified absence of a student, if the group chooses a question in which the student did not participate, that student may choose another question to be evaluated. This information will need to be given in the email sent at the end of the semester.

In case of unjustified absence in a class, if the group chooses a question in which the student did not participate, the student cannot have an evaluation on that question (it will only be evaluated in one question).

 There are no alternative dates / times for submission. Exceptional situations related to submitting responses in moodle will be resolved at the time, depending on circumstances and / or assessed on a case by case basis.

 There is no minimum grade or obligation to do this work.

 B.2) Conditions for obtaining Approval


 Have frequency and have a rating equal to or higher than 8.5 / 17 val in the evaluation of the theoretical / theoretical-practical component; have a final grade resulting from the sum of the 2 evaluation components equal to or greater than 9.5.


"Recurso" Exam

Individual assessment of knowledge of contents of theoretical and practical classes. Written exam with a maximum duration of 2h. It is intended for failing students (final grade less than 9.5 points), but also for students that already have the frequency in the discipline.

 Students with Previous Frequency with grade of continuous assessment component and summative

Students from previous years and graded continuous assessment component 

and summative are exempt from the theoretical-practical classes and maintain the previous grade of these components, but will have to be evaluated in the theoretical / theoretical-practical evaluation component.

  Grade improvement


The provisions of the current FCT / UNL Regulations apply.

Subject matter

1. Eukaryotic and prokaryotoc cells. The cell as the fundamental unit of tissues.

2. Cell membrane: structure; membrane transport

3. Endoplasmic reticulum and Golge aparatus; structure and function. Quality control pathways

4. Lisossomes: structure and function; Autophagy and cell digestion. Peroxissomes: structure and function.

5. Mitochondria: sturcture and function. Cell death by apoptosis.

6. Cell communication. Intracellular signalling pathways; ligands, receptors and signal transduction pathways

7. Cytoskeleton: organization and function. Cell transport dependent upon molecular motors

In TP classes exercises will be solved.

In the 2nd part of the TP class, group students will have to solve a proposed problem / challenge, using literature data and their knowledge on the subject. The  questions are revealed in TP class and the answers are loaded into moodle by the students.


Programs where the course is taught: