Postgraduate Certificate:
Techniques in Structural Molecular Biology (TSMB)

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bullet MSc structural biology
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bullet TSMB students 2009/10
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Distance Learning: Techniques in Structural Molecular Biology (TSMB)

Postgraduate Certificate

TSMB Syllabus


Section 1 - Essential Background

This section provides an appreciation of the structure of proteins at all levels, and how this relates to function. This material is covered in great detail in PPS. Graduates of that course are expected to find the material in this section more than a little familiar

  • DNA and Protein Transcription

The processes of transcription and translation
Introduction to protein localisation and degradation
A short overview of relevant molecular biology

  • Primary Structure

The structure and properties of the 20 amino acids found in proteins
The peptide bond and the Ramachandran plot
Structural implications of amino acid type

  • Secondary Structure

Protein geometry
Alpha helices and beta sheets
Secondary structure identification and prediction

  • Supersecondary Structure

Principles of secondary structure packing
Elements of supersecondary structure

  • Domain Folds

Domains and domain organisation
Mosaic proteins
Classification of domain folds: all-alpha, all-beta, alpha-beta

  • Tertiary Structure

Examples of protein folds in each class
How fold relates to function



At the end of this section, students should:

  • understand the chemical nature of the amino acids found in proteins, and the implications of this
  • know the hierarchical classification scheme for protein structure
  • be able to classify protein folds into all-alpha, all-beta and mixed, and know a few examples of proteins in each class
  • be ready to study the techniques used in modern structural biology in greater depth