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 - 1

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


. Principles of Cell Biology 3rd Editio


.Biologia Celular e Molecular 

Ed. Carlos Azevedo e Cláudio Sunkel. Ed Lidel


. Scientific papers

Teaching method

Theoretical lectures, using multimedia presentations.

TP classes for exercises and problems and group work.

Evaluation method

A) BCb Standards of Conduct 2022-2023

1. Students may only change TP shifts in exceptional and duly justified cases. The exchange requires prior authorization from the professors.
2. Communication between teachers and students and availability of materials for T and TP classes will be made via Moodle.
3. The rules for evaluation and attendance of the course are registered in CLIP.


A) "Frquência":

1. To obtain frequency , students must submit, individually, in Moodle,  elements of work to be carried out during the TP classes . The presence in clasesses and submission of  the work elements must be 2/3 of the total classes.
In each TP class, exercise sheets or other elements of work on subjects of Cell Biology will be made available. In these classes, students can be divided into pre-formed groups of 3-4 students/group. During the working hours of the TP classes, students must carry out the work elements in accordance with the instructions provided in each class. At the end of each class, the student must upload an element indicated by the teacher. Only students present in TP classes will be able to submit the work in moodle. There will be a place for uploading documents in moodle every week.
2. To control attendance, attendance in TP classes is also registered by the teacher .
3. Delays of more than 30 minutes prevent the student from being admitted to the TP class, and from making/delivering the work element corresponding to that day. Unjustified absences have the same effect.
4. Certificates and other valid justifications for absences will only be accepted if delivered in the class of the week immediately after the day of the absence.
5. Student workers, and other exceptional cases, who do not attend the theoretical-practical classes must undergo an assessment (to be agreed with the teachers) to obtain frequency in the subject.

The student who does not attend the discipline cannot take the tests, or take a recourse exam, nor will he/she have a valid grade in the theoretical/theoretical-practical, continuous and summative assessment components.

B) Assessment in the subject

B.1) Evaluation Rules
The final classification of the subject (scale from 0 to 20 points) results from the sum of the marks of 2 components of the evaluation:

i) Evaluation of the theoretical/theoretical-practical component (80% = 16 points). A written test, for individual assessment of knowledge of theoretical and theoretical-practical lecture contents . The approval requires obtaining at least  8 val/16 val (50%).
The test date is announced at the beginning of classes and marked on the CLIP, and there is no alternative date(s) or repetition of any of the tests.
Alternatively, students can pass the course by completing a final exam (Época de Recurso) – marked in CLIP.  The approval requires obtaining at least  8.0 val/16 val (50%) in the global grade of the appeal exam.

ii) Continuous assessment (theoretical-practical) (20% = 4 points).
The grade for this component results from the preparation of two group assignments during the semester,  on the BC subjects. The work has a final rating of 4 val.

There is no minimum grade or obligation to do this work. The specific rules of the work will be published at the beginning of the course.

B.2) Conditions for obtaining Approval

Have frequency, have a classification equal to or greater than 8.0/16 val in the assessment of the theoretical/theoretical-practical component (by tests or recourse exam); have a final grade resulting from the sum of the 2 evaluation components equal to or greater than 9.5.

Época de Recurso Exam
Individual assessment of knowledge of the contents of theoretical and theoretical-practical classes. Written exam with a maximum duration of 2 hours. It is intended for students who have failed (final grade less than 9.5), but who frequently attend the course, or students who wish to improve the theoretical/theoretical-practical assessment component.

Subject matter

T classes – Cell Biology

1. The eukaryotic cell

. The cell theory

. Major structural differences between eukaryotic cells and prokaryotic cells

. The eukaryotic cell as a fundamental tissue unit and as a boundary unit of the various organelles

. The main eukaryotic cell organelles


2. Cell Membrane and Biological Transport

. Structure and composition of cell membranes: Fluid Mosaic Model

. Different types of active and passive transport

. Ion channels and membrane transporters

. Important gradients in physiological processes

. Integration and interplay of transport activity in a cell

. Distribution of transporters and cell function


3. Characterization of eukaryotic cell organelles

3.1. Endomembranous system:

. Subcellular location, relative size, structure and function of smooth and rough endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus

. The role of the rough endoplasmic reticulum in protein synthesis

. Transport and sorting of proteins through the endoplasmic reticulum and the different cisterns of the Golgi apparatus

. Classic protein secretion pathway


3.2. Lysosomes:

. Structural and functional characterization of lysosomes

. Transport via the Golgi trans network and lysosome formation

. Lysosome maturation

. Lysosomal acid hydrolases

. Lysosomes involved in nutrition and cell defense processes: characterization of different types of autophagy (macroautophagy, microautophagy and chaperone-mediated autophagy)

. The importance of autophagy in physiological and pathological processes


3.3. Peroxisomes:

. Structural and functional characterization of peroxisomes

. Peroxisome formation

. Importance of peroxisomes in metabolic pathways

. Changes in peroxisomal activity and relationship to pathologies


3.4. Mitochondria:

. Structural and functional characterization of mitochondria

. Mitochondrial genome

. Regulation of the active mitochondrial population (fission, fusion and mitophagy)

. Pathological changes related to loss of mitochondrial homeostasis

. The central role of mitochondria in metabolism and cell death by apoptosis.


4. Intracellular Signaling and Signal Transduction Mechanisms

. Communication by extracellular signals and types of extracellular signals.

. Main intracellular signaling pathways and signal transduction: Signaling by intracellular receptors (receptors of cholesterol-derived ligands) and signaling by cell surface receptors (receptors linked to the activity of G proteins).

. Methods of identification, characterization and modulation of some signal transduction pathways through the presentation of practical cases.


5. Cytoskeleton:

. Structural and functional characterization of the cytoskeleton

. Microtubules, microfilaments (actin filaments) and intermediate filaments. Intracellular transport dependent on motor proteins (kinesins and dyneins)

. Participation of cytoskeleton elements in cell homeostasis


TP classes – Cell Biology

Solving exercises and problems, and searching for current scientific literature, individually or in groups, on the subject of the previous theoretical class:

. Eukaryotic cell and cell membrane

. Endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus

. Lysosomes and peroxisomes

. Mitochondria

. Cell signaling pathways

. Cytoskeleton



Programs where the course is taught: