Molecular Biology C


The different molecular processes that ensure the viability of a cellular unit and the main molecular components that perform these functions will be taught in the curricular unit of Molecular Biology C.              

After the frequency of this discipline, which is focused on the processes through which the hereditary information in a cell unit is duplicated, and transmitted to its offspring, and in the processes through which this hereditary information is converted into chains of amino acids that will define the different characteristics of a cell, students should be able to:

 1. Identify the different components that are found in different cell types.

2. Describe the experiments by which the DNA molecule has been identified as a determinant for hereditary information.

3. Identify the chemical composition of the DNA molecule, its structure and its organization within a cellular unit.

4. Describe the DNA replication process, the mechanisms that ensure the reliability of this process and how the different elements involved in this process can be used in the laboratory.

5. Describe the process by which the information encoded in the DNA molecule is converted into RNA (transcription) and protein (translation).

6. Identify the mechanisms that ensure the regulation of the genetic expression.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Sérgio Joaquim Raposo Filipe


Weekly - 1

Total - 25

Teaching language



The Molecular Biology C unit has no requirements.


Molecular Biology of the Cell; Alberts et al.; 6th edition (2015). Garland Science, Taylor & Francis Group, New York.

Slides and documents presented in the theoretical classes and in the theoretical-practical classes that will be provided by the lecturers.

Access to web pages of associations with the American Society for Microbiology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, with content associated with topics taught in class.


Additional Bibliography

Biologia Celular e Molecular; C. Azevedo, C. E.; 5th edition (2012). Lidel, Porto.

Molecular Cell Biology; Lodish et al.; 8th edition (2016). W. H. Freeman

Molecular Biology of Assemblies and Machines; Steven et al.; 1ª edição (2016) Garland Science

Teaching method

Theoretical classes with slides for presentation of contents of the curricular unit.

Theoretical-practical classes with slides for solving and/or discussing problems.

Access to contents in the Moodle page with exercises and presentations about the contents that are taught.

Evaluation method

The evaluation will have two components:

- a theoretical-practical evaluation with one written test with questions about the contents taught in the theoretical classes and theoretical-practical classes (80% of the final classification) and calculated to one decimal place.

- a summative assessment component (20% of the final grade), with a classification rounded to one decimal place, and carried out through the evaluation elements proposed in the theoretical-practical classes.

Subject matter

The course program, which will be taught in the theoretical classes, can be grouped into three main groups:

Topic 1: Organization of DNA/Chromosome/Genome

1. Molecular components of cells and their functions.

2. Structure and chemical composition of different nucleic acids.

3. Experiments that demonstrate how DNA is responsible for heredity.

4. Characterization of the DNA present in a cellular unit (composition, organization and packaging).

Topic 2: DNA Replication, Mutation, Repair and Recombination.

5. Mechanisms used to ensure the high fidelity of the process that duplicate the DNA (replication) in a cell unit and in the laboratory.

6. Concept of spontaneous and induced mutations.

7. Examples of mutation repair systems.

Topic 3: Conversion of the DNA code into a protein

 8. Processes that cells use, and their regulation, to read information encoded their genome: (1) from DNA to RNA (transcription); (2) RNA for protein (translation).

9. Effects of DNA modification and mutagenesis.

10. Examples of reverse transcription.

11. Control of gene expression.

Problems associated with the topics taught in the theoretical class of the same or of the previous week will be solved in each of theoretical-practical classes.